Monday, January 18, 2010

Day12 of the Picture Dialogues


I know, it's another breakfast shot... As I was putting breakfast together this morning and thinking about what picture to send you, I got all excited about the yogurt. You see it there, between the pear chunks and the whole grain cereal. And also in the Marzac, La Fromagerie Artisanale (basically, the artisan cheesery), container to the left of the bowl. Yaourt au lait entier de Vache, yogurt made from whole cows milk. This is the yaourt natur, unflavored.

Two local guys, Marc and Zachariah, decided in 2008 to combine names and their talents to produce a range of more than 20 character cheese from raw goat and cow's milk, to craft dairy products in the "old farm style". The dairy's milk is harvested each day from several local farms which have been chosen because they adhere to rigorous specifications in terms of the grazing and feeding of their herds.

You can buy goat and cow's milk from them as well as yogurt. I love their thimble-sized goat cheeses, called thoms. Their heart-shaped fresh goat cheese is also a favorite and only 2€ (about $3 these days, if you are not livin in Euro).

While eating breakfast, I was reading in my writer's style book, "The Norton Anthology", a story by James Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues".

Musings on Writing
The story turns into one of redemption when the older brother, at Sonny’s asking, finally goes to see him play at a club down in Greenwich Village:

“Sonny moved, deep within, exactly like someone in torment. I had never before thought of how awful the relationship must be between the musician and his instrument. He has to fill it, this instrument, with the breath of life, his own. He has to make it do what he wants it to do. And a piano is just a piano. It’s mad out of so much wood and wires and little hammers and big ones, and ivory. While there’s only so much you can do with it, the only way to find this out is to try; to try and make it do everything.”
(and a little later)
“Freedom lurked around us and I understood, at last, that he could help us to be free if we would listen, that he would never be free until we did… He had made it his: that long line, of which we knew only Mama and Daddy. And he was giving it back as everything must be given back, so that, passing through death, it can live forever. I saw my mother’s face again, and felt, for the first time, how the stones of the road she had walked on must have bruised her feet. I saw the moonlit road where my father’s brother died. And it brought something else back to me, and carried me past it, I saw my little girl again and felt Isabel’s tears again, and I felt my own tears begin to rise. And I was yet aware that this was only a moment, that the world waited outside, as hungry as a tiger, and that trouble stretched above us, longer than the sky.”
These passages spoke to me of writing. Of how we, as writers, struggle to make the tuneless instrument of the computer keyboard play music of our composition; the parallel truth about our own instrument: “only so much you can do with it, the only way to find this out is to try; to try and make it do everything.”
And in reading the latter passage, it occurred to me that one of the reasons that writers write is in the hope that others will listen, and that, in a way, we will (sic) “never be free until they do”. That those who must write have had an insight into “the long line” of which Baldwin speaks and that, in putting words on paper and working to shape them to capture the attention and imagination of others, we are trying to reproduce this clear glimpse of what life is that we have seen, to give “it back as everything must be given back, so that, passing through death, it can live forever.”
And on that note, back to struggling to get this keyboard to play something recognizable as melody.
Bisous,
N2

5 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again- you have a beautiful blog.

Bethany said...

I love seeing your delicious looking breakfastES!
The yogurt is fun, love labels and packages from other countries.
Nice story too. Now I'd like to see a thom.
I like your thoughts on writing and relating it to that passage.
True, so true.

Gail Larrick said...

A gift! "Photo" photo and "word" photo. Delicious. Loving this series and the discipline of continuity... Fabulous Eggs reading tonight: Cynthia with two journeys to the heart (in the countries of Africa and marriage) and Liz with her prize-winning story about the slaughter truck coming to the farm. Then cloudbursts and lightning (NOT metaphorical) all the way home.

N2 said...

Thanks for stoppin by, Ladies! and for:

Your complements, Ms Moon. I always feel like you are reading your thoughts out loud to me when I read your blog.

Your tolerance of my breakfast photo fixation, Bethany, and kind words on the writing musings.

Your note from home, Ms G. Like being with y'all for a minute.

x0x0x0 N2

swallowtail said...

HOW did I miss this one? I didn't, really, I just thought I better dash off and do something before I commented, and then, voila! I plumb forgot!

I love seeing your handwriting! I too really appreciated this musing on the writing. It is an amazing exercise to write in one's own hand, the words of another. Doesn't it put you right into their world? When I took German in college I wrote and wrote and wrote, Deutch! I loved doing that, though I still couldn't speak the language... I think it was just too harsh in my mouth or something.

When you get home, you must fix me breakfast!

xoxoLC

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