For The Record

What is it about us morning folk who can only seem to usefully string a few words together approaching midnight when the house has grown dark and everyone else more or less fallen silent? I suppose that’s the point for writing requires getting out of the idea’s way and that only happens when we are tired enough (mostly of ourselves and our petty distractions, concerns, priorities) to let it be.

In my case, perhaps in many others’ as well, writing is more like taking dictation. To do it well, one need simply or not so simply vanish in plain sight while keeping hands and fingers relaxed and moving. What I really began to write about was how tonight, more than 20 years after the fact, I came to understand how I got one of my nicknames, Pearl. Trouble is, on the way to writing that down, the matter of voice began it’s familiar trill.

I’d just spent a day listening to British accents, my emotional, perhaps even psychological, North. First, I was riveted by Helen Mirren’s embodiment of The Tempest, and last by the inescapable jibe of, “you’re British, aren’t you”, in The Ghost Writer – set in my familiar stomping grounds of Massachusetts – but produced almost entirely elsewhere. My ears and tongue may have made peace with various ‘Merican dialects, but my writer’s heart speaks a different cadence. Of course, this explains a measure of my attachment to James Baldwin, my favorite ex-pat, and provides some cover for my lack of publications, but it represents merely the tip of the ice berg that appears to be on the verge of thawing.