An Empty Box

Vermeer's Girl Asleep at a Table

I don't have much of a topic tonight, but I do have something I'd like to attribute that fact to:

I am the sort of person who notices small, overlooked bits of life and experience. I like to look at flowers, read signs, check out loose threads on the glossy people who surround me. I like finding spelling errors and incongruities in images. I particularly like noticing thoughts, the ones I didn't realize I was having, and then to think about how I came to be thinking that particular thing.

But this capability of mine requires fuel: it requires variety I suppose, and that certain crystallization of the world when it suddenly makes sense to look just a bit deeper, to immerse myself in the sharper edges, brighter colors, in the surficial pool and eddy of life and nature and experience.

And lately I've found myself sedentary, artificially illumined, and in a world of paper and a different way of speaking. It's not a world conducive to interesting thoughts.

Sometimes I think that I live best when I am living outwardly: when my moments of existence are more tightly rooted to the place I am in. But there is an acute divorce of mind and moment which occurs when an interested person finds herself in uninteresting confines.

How can I infuse life into this lifestyle I am currently and necessarily leading? Weekends help thoroughly, as does a continuous, though slower-moving stream of fiction, poetry, and criticism. It helps to be naturally of a mutable and swift mind, the sort that finds its feet quickly and feels comfortable in a multitude of contexts. But it's hard to keep the spirits from sinking, and if my mind is naturally quick, my spirits are naturally melancholic.

I do love that last word, its in my top twenty or so favorite words, along with mercurial, saturnalia, mellifluous, gloaming, nightshade, and chrysanthemum (there are many others, now that I think about it). It's interesting to think about how I only really have favorite words in one language...any words I may enjoy in French would be for a one-sided reason, not at all like the English words I adore for their auditory qualities as well as the wealth of meaning they also carry. Fluency is such a strange thing--utterly unnoticed and yet essential to exist as a specific person.