Jump to content, Jump to navigation.

Amber Paulen

Crest of a Wave

23 August 2010


The return of half the Romans has signaled the full return of heat. Though August is nearly finished, it’s raging. I forecast a languorous summer with more ice tea and lemonade, a summer to take us to the end of September. Sweating has always been an occupation more favored than its antithesis: shivering.

But anyway, I write to you today from the crest of a wave about to break, this book which I have often called “A Process,” will soon be read by others for edits and general opinions. As a process I have been tangled in for three short years, I find I am as nervous as excited. It’s a nest egg, it’s a soup simmering, some liquor brewing, it’s a horde of chocolate I’ve saved for a rainy day. It’s something I have stuck my fingers down into and massaged with the tender love of a creator; now it must be lifted to the brutal air of night and day. How shocking!

Let’s do this slowly! How can I? One word, one letter at a time? No. It’s all going out there, my naked wild child, where it will no longer be mine, but everybody’s. Finally.

Soup left simmering all day is called mush and liquor which keeps fermenting is called vinegar. To be read is the point… kind of. To be read is the ultimate validation of all struggling efforts; efforts to construct some story on some lines, that illustrates some life some people may find interesting and inspiring. To be read is communication, to pass on the encryption. To be read is a part of the process.

The echo is freed by a hole in the cave. The Body’s Long Madness is one long echo; it is the madness my body has echoed; it is the hole that set the echo free.

To write the book has always been the goal. To finish it is startling. To have it read seems like an after-thought. Henry Miller has often written about “one reader.” How if he only ever had this one imagined reader, in whom he was understood almost instantly, then Henry Miller the writer would be happy. I am Henry Miller’s one reader like many others.

My position is being flipped. Now I imagine that one reader with an incomprehensible certitude. Yet, the thought of exposing my work to be read is oddly humbling. One makes soup for sustenance, and though words can never claim as much, they do feed the hunger of the spirit. One makes soup delicious not for praise but for taste’s enjoyment. Whatever I know about writing I have learned by experience. The soup is coming off the heat.



Submit a Comment


·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·