“Kinds of water drown us.” – Anne Carson
It’s been too long since I’ve read something that jolted me alive again. I love book club, and I truly appreciate the work that I have to do with each book, but sometimes I want to read something that jolts me a bit more. So I’ve begun re-reading Anne Carson, and I’m currently digging through her collection Plainwater.
To read Anne Carson is to read about love, and I think she has helped me figure out why I continually write love poems. (And of course, to write about love is to write about death, every poem is about death, but that’s an entirely different discussion for another time). I don’t understand love. Yes, I have loved. It would be hurtful and lying to say otherwise. Still, there is something about the way Carson describes love– as a void and the opposite of a void. As fire and water. As complete loneliness because you have seen your other half and it is still removed– there is a body in the way, no matter how much you love the body. Maybe her love is really obsession, and it’s a good thing that I haven’t found it yet. But Carson writes about love as though she has been through the fire and survived but is still smoldering and might yet succumb to her wounds. But hasn’t yet. And how glorious the burn. It’s the almost-but-not-quite that’s so alluring to me.
I don’t have a satisfactory summation and conclusion to this. My thoughts move like the microclimates of Seattle. Because this morning it was sunny and clear with a cool breeze, now it’s grey and brooding. Always in flux. Tonight may be clear and warm, may be stormy and wet. I want and I don’t-want.