The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

19 August 2011

Borrowed words

These are excerpts from 'The Lost Garden' by Helen Humphreys

Living things know what they need. I have always thought this. Why crowd something from the start, when it has had no chance yet to even become itself?

The author is at one end of the experience of writing and the reader is at the other, and the book is the contract between you. [...] When a writer writes, it's as if she holds the sides of her chest apart, exposes her beating heart. And even though everything wants to heal, to close over and protect the heart, the writer must keep it bare, exposed. And in doing this, all of life is kept back, all the petty demands of the day-to-day. The heart is a river. The act of writing is the moving water that holds the banks apart, keeps the muscle of words flexing so that the reader can be carried along by this movement. To be given space and the chance to leave one's earthly world. Is there any greater freedom than this?

Every story is a story about death. But perhaps, if we are lucky, our story about death is also a story about love.

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