to write like marilynne

I promise to change this scenery and get up off the couch. This week you'll find me upstairs in my office focusing on the interview (due on Friday). Perhaps I'll snap a few pics up there. However, I photograph the above view often because waking up in the living room is very beneficial to my psyche. One of our favorite features of this house is all of the natural light. We rarely flip an electrical switch during the day. And the light in the living room is especially lovely, suffusing from the kitchen, the dining room, entry hall, and the backyard.

I'm wearing my thickest skin and swallowing three of the "feisty pills" every day. My goal is to try four this week. I'm perturbed by yeast die-off symptoms, but thinking of what lies ahead. I have this sense that if I try a bit harder and persevere, this will all be over sooner (the finish line involves six pills with no problems). Regardless, today still feels like one of those very-good days. Workmen showed up this morning to install the wood-laminate floors in Johnny's drum studio ~ very exciting. We can't be more ready (or grateful) to have Johnny teaching and recording in the garage. I'll have him close by, and it will just make my husband's life easier.

Though my body feels icky, my brain is firing all synapses today; I'm very inspired. This is surely due to the grace of God, much better sleep, and a few paragraphs from Marilynne Robinson's novel, Home. I'd kill to write like Marilynne. Rather, to write as well but in my own voice. I read the following over and over last night:

"And here is the world, she thought, just as we left it. A hot white sky and a soft wind, a murmur among the trees, the treble rasp of a few cicadas. There were acorns in the road, some of them broken by passing cars. Chrysanthemums were coming into bloom. Yellowing squash vines swamped the vegetable gardens and tomato plants hung from their stakes, depleted with bearing. Another summer in Gilead."

"That odd capacity for destitution, as if by nature we ought to have so much more than nature gives us. As if we are shockingly unclothed when we lack the complacencies of ordinary life. In destitution, even of feeling or purpose, a human being is more hauntingly human and vulnerable to kindnesses because there is the sense that things should be otherwise, and then the thought of what is wanting and what alleviation would be, and how the soul could be put at ease, restored. At home. But the soul finds its own home if it ever has a home at all."

"'We’ll be leaving sometime,’ she said. ‘There’s nothing to do around here.’ That was when they had been at the river for Ames’s birthday, and had walked down to rinse the plates, and had stopped to watch Robby and Tobias racing leaves through an eddy between two ribs of sand. She said, ‘We hope he’ll remember something of it.’ Then Glory had seen the place as if it were the kind of memory a woman might wish for her child, and it was exactly that, the river broad and shallow, the intricacies of its bed making rivulets of the slow water, bloom on the larger little islands and butterflies everywhere. And the trees meeting high above it, shading it, making the bottom earthily apparent wherever there was calm. They all loved the river, in all generations, Jack, too. She bent and dipped her hands in the water and pressed them to her face, to conceal the embarrassment of tears, but more than that, because the river was simply manifest, a truth too seldom acknowledged. When she had been on her own, sometimes she had thought of it."
[this quote also seen on Laura's blog]

"It felt like piety and propitiation to calm the disorder this most orderly man had left in the confusions of his sorrow."

See? I've really lost myself in this novel. The characters seem quite alive - I ache for them. If I'm honest here, the reason I'm drinking more coffee lately is because Glory brews coffee for her Papa and Jack every five minutes, so much so that I can smell it. I better find a good novel where the characters are into tea, for variety if nothing else. Any recommendations?


Christine said...

Go, Jenni, go! I love all your inspiration lately. I can only imagine what will come out of a completely well Jenni!

Kimberly said...

There is something so soothing about natural light (not to mention it's free!). ;~) It's wonderful to hear that you're thinking more clearly. God is a' workin'!!!

Sherry said...

Yes, now Marilyn I've read! Can't wait to get my nose into Home now. Thanks Jenni.

jenni said...

Thanks, y'all.

abbiegrace said...

I enjoyed Giliad but haven't read any of her other books yet. Good to know you enjoyed Home.

I love your little white pumpkin.

jenni said...

Thanks, Abbie. Housekeeping is also amazing. I need to read her essays as well.

laura said...

i love that we loved the same section! i can't get enough of "and here is the world, she thought, just as we left it ..." ahhh. p.s. you should come to spaworld with me sometime. its restorative effects are unbelieveable. :)

jenni said...

If I'm ever in the area, I'd love to go to spaworld with you, Laura.