Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Teasing Out the Soul


Here begins a new era of correspondence. I remember your notes on lined paper, folded into squares I could slip into my notebook. Those notes warded off my teenage blues and those abhorrent hours of the golf coach's drone through European history. European history, right? She might as well have been reading off her grocery list. She engendered that much care and interest. I remember your treasured letters from China, epic tales written on thin, transparent paper arriving to offer a salve to my isolation on the farm. Here begins the new correspondence.

Reading Wandering Time by Luis Alberto Urrea I found this:

"Writing is not strictly a process of putting words together. It is a spiritual and mental and emotional process. What we do in a literary friendship, or a romantic swoon that features copious letters, or a vibrant pen-pal relationship, is tease out the strands of each others' souls. We are tending gardens, watering plants, harvesting fruit. We are urging another side of each other's writing spirit to come out of hiding. That is feedback. That is guidance. And that is workshopping of the highest order."

Come out of hiding, you!


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