Friday, January 16, 2015

Walk Two Moons

Why am I trying to create perfection from tidbits of other things, when I already have a perfect creation on my bookshelf (Walk Two Moons). I open the book, smell the crispy paper, push my fingers along the yellowing pages, read the words that excite and overwhelm me, and that's it. 
I think right now that my art is meaningless now and there is no need for more art after Walk Two Moons.
I try so hard to express things I feel, but they don't measure to what I feel when I read this book. It's the only book in the world I have opened and read so many times, and even allowed the pages to fold and feel at home in my hands (unlike all my other books which I keep in perfect condition). This is my homebook. It's my homebase. You should read it. You know what, if anyone wants to know what I love in this world and what is beautiful, read the book.

Chapter 20, page 121
The Blackberry Kiss

That night I tried to write the mini journal for Mr. Birkway. First I made a list of all the things I liked, and they were all things from Bybanks-- the trees, the cows, the chickens, the pigs, the fields, the swimming hole. It was a complete jumble of things, and when I tried to write about any one of those things, I ended up writing about my mother, because everything was connected to her. At last, I wrote about the blackberry kiss.

One morning when I awoke very early, I saw my mother walking up the hill to the barn. Mist hung about the ground, finches were singing in the oak tree beside the house, and there was my mother, her pregnant belly sticking out in front of her. She was srtolling up the hill, swinging her arms and singing:

Oh, don't fall in love with a sailor boy,
A sailor boy, a sailor boy--
Oh, don't fall in love with a sailor boy,
'Cause he'll take your heart to sea--

As she approached the corner of the barn where the sugar maple stands, she plucked a few blackberries from a stray bush and popped them into her mouth. She looked all around her-- back at the house, across the fields, and up into the canopy of branches overhead. She took several quick steps up the trunk of the maple, threw her arms around it, and kissed that tree soundly.

Later that day, I examined the tree trunk. I tried to wrap my arms about it, but the trunk was much bigger than it had seemed from my window. I looked up at where her mouth had touched the trunk. I probably imagined this, but I thought I could detect a small dark stain, as fro ma blackberry kiss 

I put my ear against the trunk and listened. I faced that tree squarely and kissed it firmly. To this day, I can smell the smell of the bark-- a sweet, woody smell-- and feel the ridges in the bark, and taste that distintive taste on my lips.

In my mini journal, I confesssed that I had since kissed all different kinds of trees, and each family of trees-- oaks, maples, elms, birches-- had a special flavor all its own. Mixed in with each tree's own taste was the slight taste of blackberries, and why this was so, I could not explain.

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