Friday, June 27, 2008

on the motion of walking

Category: Issue 11

We walk as two people walk on a day where the weather is so nice that it’s unnoticeable.  As we walk we kick along bottle caps or stones, keeping them in front of us and going slightly out of our ways—but never by more than a foot or two—to keep the same cap or stone rolling along with us.  We walk slowly and quietly.  As if we’re making a final trip towards crucifixion or combing the line of the beach where shells were deposited at the crest of high tide, steadily searching for unmarred ones to collect in a bucket and proudly show to our parents (all of whom are now dead, both sets of two, and none of them got to see their children in love).  Her and I, comfortable with walking and touching or just walking near one another without touching, are walking down a sidewalk so familiar that we could probably do it with our eyes closed if we took it slow and held hands.  A bag of groceries—red and green peppers, onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, beef, a few other colorful and olfactory pleasing things for our stew—swings along with my arm and the tired summer breeze that feels like warm, sleeping breath.  I can’t smell the food in the bag, but I can’t wait to come up behind my wife while she’s cooking—after I kick off my shoes and trade my tie for a tee-shirt—and take her streamline waist in my hands and kiss the top of her head where her hair parts and tell her how good it smells.

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Old Comments

  • This is pretty cool, but it seems unfinished to me.  I like the idea of creating a story from the brief walk and the emotions and connection shared; I think you could expand this to be more involved for the reader - to really “take” the reader on the walk, so that we are left with a positive emotional reaction.  The verbiage is good, I really like your weather description as well as the beach parallel.  I was confused with the crucifixion and beach comparison though - it seems walking to a crucifixion would be completely different from combing the beach.  I would love to read a re-write, with more of your excellent descriptive pros in it grin  Thank you for sharing and I look forward to more!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/28  at  10:36 PM
  • I read this once to see what it was, and liked it so much that I aborted the first read and just started reading it again before I got to the end. So I suppose you could say it was a double take.  Then I read S.J.‘s comment and now I’ve read it again.  Twice, ti start with, just to see. So there’s something good about this, because of all these readings, clearly. 

    I live on PEI, Canada, where it’s all beaches (in the summer) and it’s been a long winter, so I’m almost certainly biased. Be that as it may, I loved the description of the walking and the beach. 

    I think the surprise for me came in the last couple of sentences where it turns out that you’re walking with your wife.  It seemed like you were walking with a childhood friend. I wasn’t expecting anything romantic or um sexual and so it kind of whacked my inner child when I realized I was spying on a couple of married people. 

    Does it sound like I don’t get it?  When I realized you were talking about your wife, I really liked that idea.

    There are two very powerful ideas here and I’m not sure what to suggest except that this is what I saw!  cheers!

    Posted by julianyway  on  07/02  at  01:42 AM
  • (Still thinking)

    The crucifixion part didn’t bother me… I understood it that we are walking slowly and perhaps reverantly (sp?) along the beach. 

    I guess for the first couple of sentences I was envisioning two children, and by the end, it’s outrageous, as if I’ve grown up way too fast.

    Maybe, just rename the poem and run with it! 
    OK I’m done.

    Posted by julianyway  on  07/02  at  02:07 AM
  • thanks for all the comments… i hope i’m not just screwing it up.  but it feels like it needs some work still.  and i don’t want it to be long, just a little glimpse…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  05:02 PM
  • I think it should be “she and I” not “her and I”. 

    I love the unnoticeable weather. 

    Maybe the reason I felt surprised was the mention of parents… coming where it did…
    I was just reading along and it seemed almost like a “childhood friend” kind of experience; and then the mention of parents kind of reinforced that… hence my surprise at the end when it turns out to be your grownup adult wife.

    There’s something really nice about it because of that, too, though.  Because your wife IS your friend.  I wouldn’t want to change this in any way that would change the feeling that it evokes, of walking on a beach with your friend, and really, you could be any age at all.  I guess maybe you could say something more at the outset that shows she’s a love interest. 

    I’m having a hard time expressing myself.  What do you think, am I making any sense at all?  (argh!)

    Posted by julianyway  on  07/03  at  04:57 AM
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