The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


One life must be enough

When I wrote this week's Sunday Scribblings musings on Town & Country, I was thinking of something that Linford Detweiler of Over the Rhine wrote in a little booklet called Northern Spy Number One: Crawl Low Under Smoke. I couldn't find it at the time, but found a portion of it copied in my journal from June 1997. He says it so beautifully:

One life is hardly enough. I've had to kill so many lives to be alive in this one. The college professor life. The life lived in the South with the brave dancing words full of sweet storm clouds, grace and the reign of laughter. And me struggling with a first collection of short stories.

The life on the Northeast Ohio farm with mist like the secret birthing night breath of angels coming up off the five a.m. fields and the grey birds praising the new coming day in their secret symphonic language, full of mercy and foreshadowing. The life of the pianist braving The Well-Tempered Clavier, making the Mozart glimmer with purity, getting the warm fire of the Chopin Nocturnes and Preludes and Etudes under the palms of miracle hands, making Ravel's impressionist poems come in and out of focus, breathing all the while.

The young are apple trees. We prune off many limbs so that we might bear a little fruit. One life must be enough, but damn. (p. 18)

Yes, Linford, yes. Damn.

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add to kirtsy | 12:26 AM


Anonymous Allyson said...

Wow, Linford! I've been thinking along these lines lately, especially while I was on vacation. "We could move here," I'd say, picturing it all in my mind. Where we would shop, go to church, how I would decorate our farm house, the kick-ass garden I would make...And then I'd realize that I'd have to give up my LIFE to do this. And I'm reading a travel book by Frances Mayes, and she does the same thing, wondering how she can have lived so long in the world without visiting these tiny European villages that just call to her when she sees them, and in a flash, she sees her life there.
We do tend to narrow ourselves down.

6/08/2007 10:07 PM  

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