Monday, January 9, 2012

Dreams of Distant Lives – Lee K. Abbott





I don’t have the ability to articulate exactly what it is about an author’s writing style which causes me to be attracted to them.


I wonder if it is the subtle foundations they build their story upon. The length of their sentences, the breaths between thoughts - paragraph breaks. These three “things” come immediately to mind. Does that even make sense? Are they really “things”? I don’t even know the right word to describe what they are!


This story made my heart hurt.


It touched nerves in me…perhaps a few raw nerves that I didn’t even know were exposed. This frightens me.


I felt stillness and chaos. This frightened me.


I felt as if I was standing on the edge of my reality, just ready to slip into an altered state…which would become my new normal state…and this frightened me.


This story pulled me into my dreams – my awful dreams – not the dreams that appear at night as I sleep – those are actually very pleasant. The dreams I have during my waking hours are the dreams I am the most afraid of. They are rooted firmly in some aspects of my reality and because of this…they are they most scary. And this is why as I read Abbott’s words, I had a heart ache.


And to push me even further – the narrator of this little short is …39. Yup. How old am I again? Yup. 39.


“My inner life, the world constructed from what I’d been and done, was speaking to me, patiently and calmly. I would hear what it had to say, and I would understand. And so I came to myself, observed the man I am now walk forward to the man I was then and take him, as a father takes his children, into his arms. The one held the other – the future cradling the present- and the one who had been left, the one whose interior hooks and hasps and snaps had come undone, gave himself up utterly. They were both there, in dreamland, under heaven and over hell, two versions of the same man, clasped in an embrace that would end when the world came up again.”


That’s so beautiful…and perfect – for me.


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