Thursday, August 09, 2007

In Honor of Nagasaki

August 9, 1945 is the day the United States dropped the atom bomb on Nagasaki. Today is the 62nd anniversary of that horrible day.

I have begun reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. I had a gift card for the bookstore and after browsing all my favorite sections that book was the only one left in my hand. I had never read it before but have seen it recommended on blogs recently, particularly by other writing women as one of the most significant books inspiring their writing practice. It is fabulous. I want to quote something today:
"Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life, to all of life: the water glasses, the Kemp's half-and-half, the ketchup on the counter. It is not a writer's task to say, "it is dumb to live in a small town or to eat in a cafe when you can eat macrobiotic at home." Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist - the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing."

I think I'll have more to say about this book as I continue to read, but that's enough for today.

3 comments:

Julie said...

Thank you for writing about this book (and for remembering Nagasaki). I've been using Bloglines for about 3 months and haven't heard anyone mention this book. When I created a MySpace page a year ago, I listed for "Who I'd like to meet" a writing group in Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones style. I used to belong to one, and it was one of the most wonderful groups I ever participated in, but then I moved and I haven't found such a group since. I'm following your link to the other blog, but would love to hear from you if you know others who are writing with Goldberg's book as inspiration. Thank you again!

cloudscome said...

Julie I am embarrassed to say I can't remember what blogs I saw it on. I think there was a meme from http://www.literarymama.com/ asking what writing books people liked. I can give you these links of my favorite blogs by great writers:
http://ofkells.blogspot.com/
http://writingasjoe.blogspot.com/
http://mytopography.com/
http://cdeliascarpitti.blogspot.com/
http://hipwritermama.blogspot.com/
http://www.thiswomanswork.com/
http://readingwritingliving.wordpress.com/

Of course, there are more great writers in my bloglines, but I think it was someone in this list that mentioned Goldberg's book recently.

Julie said...

Thank you so much for posting the blog links. I will check those out! And even if I don't find the exact ones that mention Goldberg, I am sure I will find some great writing ideas. Thanks again!