Tomorrow I will get my English students to pick a passage out of “The Stone Carvers”, one they found particularly profound or poetic, and then respond to it personally. This is one I wrote to use as an exemplar. If they are brave enough I will have them post their responses in the comment section…and they are brave and brilliant little lightbulbs so I know they will!
“…[Klara] began to believe that, like the fog that was everywhere except indoors, she was not really inside the house of her mind. Or perhaps it was that unlike the fog she was in that house and nowhere else. She decided then to let the outside atmosphere into her rooms, and she opened every window, every door, and watched the white, odourless smoke crawl over the threshold and sill, curl around the legs of chairs, and spread itself over tables and beds. She unlatched cupboard and closet doors and pulled open drawers in various dressers so that the fog touched even her most intimate underclothes and crept around her dead mother’s good dishes.” The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart. pg. 32.
Have you ever felt like Klara? Like you weren’t inhabiting your own mind
or living in your own body?
Where you’ve felt too exhausted to engage in your own life or too traumatized to emotionally invest in your own experiences? So you’ve severed yourself from the reality of your situation and have merely shifted into perfunctory actions,
neurons and synapses firing
(but it seems as though not of your own accord).
you need some sort of invasive force to permeate your being, your space even
to tangibly weave and insinuate itself into and around your being just to prove that you exist. That you actually do live
That it is you taking up space and oxygen in a room.
That you consume rather than are consumed.
I get Klara. I understand why she needs the fog as a manifestation of her confusion- a visual of her “blurred” state. Making thoughts that are too scrambled and vague to make sense
Even if it’s absurdly vulnerable in nature.
But what to do when there is no fog. No natural phenomenon to serve as words to your thoughts?
Do you just sit in confusion until you can claw your way through and serve as your own catalyst
jarring you from your inertia?
Or do you speak or draw or create or cry?
As ethereal as fog.
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