If I sit here waiting for the perfect sentence to show up, I’ve got a long wait ahead of me. Maybe the perfect sentence doesn’t want me to wait. Maybe the perfect sentence is tired of one-night stands with writers who fall in love too easily, who can’t be trusted to stick around when the perfect sentence turns out to be not so perfect after all.
Coleman Barks On Rumi, Sensuality, And The Path With No Name
I’ve always loved that moment when I feel the language coming. Nobody knows what the source of the flow of language is, that inspiring eloquence, but we know it when we feel it. Artists of any kind get addicted to that: “Why can’t I be this way all the time?” We destroy ourselves with ways of faking it, of manufacturing inspiration. Writers are so impatient.
For the next month, nothing will touch my husband’s mouth between sunup and sundown: Not food. Not water. Not my lips. A chart posted on our refrigerator tells him the precise minute when his fast must begin and end each day. I will find him in front of this chart again this evening, staring at his watch, waiting for it to tell him he may eat.
I spent twelve years in the state penitentiary for crimes imagined by children and believed by adults. For those twelve years, my body became my enemy and my commodity — I let the inmates hurt me so I could live. Besides the common abuses, they also broke my fingers and thumbs and sometimes the little bones in my hands. Once, they shattered a wrist.