Reading Impressions: Lily King

white wooden table near brown chair

I love these geese. They make my chest tight and full and help me believe that things will be all right again, that I will pass through this time as I have passed through other times, that the vast and threatening blank ahead of me is a mere specter, that life is lighter and more playful than I’m giving it credit for.

books on brown brick wall

I can tell he lost someone close somehow. You can feel that in people, an openness, or maybe it’s an opening that you’re talking into. With other people, people who haven’t been through something like that, you feel the solid wall. Your words go scattershot off of it.

white wooden cabinet beside white ceramic sink

The hardest thing about writing is getting in every day, breaking through the membrane. The second-hardest thing is getting out. Sometimes I sink down too deep and come up too fast. Afterward I feel wide open and skinless. The whole world feels moist and pliable. When I get up from the desk I straighten the edges of everything. The rug needs to be perfectly aligned with the floorboards. My toothbrush needs to be perpendicular to the edge of the shelf.

I just needed to move forward, get to the end. Painters, I told myself, though I know nothing about painting, don’t start at one side of the canvas and work meticulously across to the other side. They create an underpainting, a base of shape, of light and dark. They find the composition slowly, layer after layer. This was only my first layer, I told myself as we turned the corner […] It’s not supposed to be good or complete. It’s okay that it feels like a liquid not a solid, a vast and spreading goo I can’t manage, I told myself. It’s okay that I’m not sure what’s next, that it might be something unexpected. I need to trust—
From: Lily King - Writers and Lovers

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