Friday, January 27, 2017

Writing post of the day. . .

I love this picture, an old photograph of Emily Dickinson I doctored with a tropical flower in her hair and some subtle lip tint.
Even though it was just a quick digital editing job, I feel like it's a piece of art. It shows that even though Emily Dickinson was in many ways quiet, retreating, private— possibly even agoraphobic—she had a wild and beautiful garden growing in her mind.
After all, this is the woman who wrote, "Saying nothing. . .sometimes says the most." How cool is that line, especially considering she wrote it in the 19th century?
This talented transcendentalist (sorry, I have a hard time passing up alliteration sometimes, to the detriment of my writing) wrote countless other memorable lines. Here's just a few.
"To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else."
"I dwell in possibility."
"Forever is composed of nows"
"Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell."
"Dying is a wild night and a new road."
"The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience."
And finally and forever, this daring declaration:
"I'm nobody, who are you?"
And listen to how she describes her unimposing self. She sounds rare and as though she occasionally flares up and becomes more lovely than the hottest and most buxom blonde at the party.
"I had no portrait, now, but am small, like the wren; and my hair is bold, like the chestnut bur; and my eyes, like the sherry in the glass, that the guest leaves."
If she were around and an actress today, she would be perfect to play another character who though self-described as small and plain, emanates a quiet fascination. My lit-chicks know I'm talking about Jane Eyre.
One more quote occurs to me when I think of Emily Dickinson and all of my friends who could best be described as "girls gone mild," and it's wasn't even written by her.
"A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within."—Eudora Welty
You said it, sister.