Thanks to Shelly for sharing these lines from Haven Kimmel’s The Solace of Leaving Early.
“It is the nature of the world that we miss the moment our fate changes, but can recall it later with perfect clarity.” –referring to things that happen in our lives that, at the time, we don’t realize have any import. Later, though, we can recall the moment vividly, knowing that this is when things changed. I like this, not because of the beauty of the sentence itself, but because I think it hits the nail on the head.
This is similar to a line I pulled out of The Used World. It deals with the same concept.
I like seeing Haven revisit an idea, in part because it’s a good idea, but also because I find it reassuring. As a writer, I explore certain themes and ideas over and over, either because I find them interesting or because I’m trying to work them out from different angles. I know this, and I like it, but it goes against my desire to be always original. Can you revisit a theme and still be original? Maybe, maybe not. (Definitely maybe.) The point is, Haven revisits ideas, so it must be okay if I do it, too.
I also liken the “revisitation” idea to Monet painting the same subject over and over in his quest to get it right or capture all the different nuances of the subject. (Yep, me and Monet, we’re like this! [crosses fingers])
“Langston looked back at her mother, and for a moment she could hardly tell AnnaLee [mother] and Walt [father] apart. They could say what they would, but all of her parents’ best lines were in their faces.”
I wonder if she heard a similar line and liked it, or if she came up with the idea on her own. Surely she’s not the first person to come up with the idea to compare lines of dialogue or advice with lines in aging faces, but it’s funny nonetheless. I especially like the clause, “They could say what they would” leading into the comparison.
“I wish memory were a more steady, more physical artifact. It’s just a breeze, or a scent barely detected and fading.”
I love this, a Novel Truth.