I’ve always found solace in reading and writing, more so than I have in people. I’ve immersed myself in written words ever since I learnt that spoken words can hurt. In other people’s sentences, I find somewhere I am free to be myself. Paragraphs organised by someone else’s hands are complex architectural structures that I can often call home.
Still to this day, I haven’t parted ways with reading or writing. From poetry into blogs, from diaries into a literature degree, from reading magazines to writing for one – I’m still surrounded. Sometimes I feel imprisoned, inclined to give up. My internship involves relentless proofreading and so my surrender came in the form of losing interest in books.
For the last few months, I have found reading for leisure insufferable. Until I read The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch, that is. It suitably quenched my thirst. I could not stop drinking up Lidia’s life. I will not analyse, or spoil, or provide you with an argument to read it. As Lidia herself writes:
‘Why would someone do that to novels? For what purpose, other than a sadistic impulse to hush, silence, incarcerate art? It seemed like a violence to me to write that way about literature. It seemed false at best and repugnant at worst – murderous even.’
This is an open letter of thanks.
Lidia curates words that breathe life. She is a woman that has lived life to its fullest, because she ensures she feels every emotion to its fullest capacity. Mainly pain, often loneliness and eventually, love. She does not story tell, but simply bares her soul – flowing between her own language and the life language has given her. My eyes poured over The Chronology of Water, desperately trying to match the momentum of life within the pages.
Lidia Yuknavitch reminded me that I am not alone, or lonely. I feel it a lot, deep in my bones. On my desk surface at work. In the silences at home. Her memoir gave me a place to curl myself into, safe in the crook of language and words. Falling in love with art again, replenished in my love for reading and writing.