Friday, May 23, 2014
Just a short note today, to mention a bit more of Village Hours by Ronald Blythe. I finished reading it two nights ago just after I also finished filling yet another moleskine notebook, so I unwrapped a new one (I always keep a extras few handy; I usually fill three each year) and began it with the following words of Blythe's, alongside some of my own:
"David and I go to Aldeburgh, where I was young. The North Sea slapped the shingle. Yachts tottered on the horizon. Visitors did their best not to be cold. The Victorian houses were gaudy, like toys. We bought fish wet from the sea. Nobody swam." (p.100)
Noun, verb. Noun verb. Noun verb. Love those short sentences and precisely descriptive words. He is a master at this. And he's often funny, too:
"It is a nice, sultry morning for standing about and seeing others toil." (p.109)
Most of his essays contain humor, pathos, religiosity of the authentic kind, social commentary, and beautiful descriptive passages. And usually a zinger of a home truth. Just one example from the wealth of them in this book:
"Writers do a lot of looking - often more than listening, if the truth be known. The world is so strange to them. They sit at the windows of remote houses, trying to take it all in - the delights and dreadfulness of things, the changing weather, and what it can be to be newly sighted, although not necessarily visionary." (p.120)
I love copying words such as these into my diaries, from whatever books I've just finished reading. As I've said before, these notes will always remind me exactly what books I read and when, as well as offering a glimpse into what I thought was worth taking note of at that time in life. And, of course, they show me how to write, myself. Books (and their authors) make exceptional writing teachers.