Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Connection

I wish I discovered Judith Kitchen years ago. When I finally started to read her prose she was dying. As soon as I began to read her short pieces I knew that her sentences had a way of grabbing hold of a reader and holding on. No word-- extraneous. Prose akin to poetry. Prose that danced with images --drawing pictures in the air.

Listen to how she writes about the difference between a road and a street. The roads she referred to were rural and the streets belonged to small towns.

" How did a street differ from a road? Well, the road moved on, wound through contours of landscape. The street plowed through, straight as a needle, marching itself into town."

Now I'm reading her small book called The Circus Train. She wrote it when she knew she was dying and possibly had a mere few months left. It's constructed of short vignettes of memories. Small reflections. Pocket size pieces of living.

When she describes the snow it's as if I am experiencing snow for the first time.

I am mesmerized with her images and her gifts. Near the end of her book she asks, " Who will there be to say whether I became the person I wanted to be? " But she doesn't end with those words.

She, always cognizant of pronouns, recognizes that soon she will " lose the distinctions of pronoun."

I read the book slowly because each small piece is a gem and a gift and often asks me to look at how I use words and images and feelings.


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