"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A nouvelle post

One of the blogs I mentioned in my last post, when I was doling out Memetastic Blogger Awards like a drunken rider on a Mardi Gras float, was Synch-ro-ni-zing. I actually discovered this blog by investigating the Blogs of Note listed in my Blogger account.

(If I say the word blog-blogger-blogged-blogs one more time, it may activate my gag muscle.)

I don't know very much about the author of Synch-ro-ni-zing, except her name is Ruth and she writes beautiful poetry and takes pretty photos, and lives where she can have chickens and a lot of space to wander around and think. Hers is the one blog that makes me long to leave southern California for more space and real seasons, except I've already told Dale we can't buy a farm in the middle of nowhere because as we grow older, we'll need to be close to the pharmacy. And I still recall having to dig my car out of the snow and scrape the ice from the windshield, so the whole "real seasons" thing is only a theoretical wish.

Ruth recently posted a Nouvelle 55 on her site, based on an Edvard Munch painting. A Nouvelle is what the French call flash fiction, and someone challenged her to write a piece in 55 words, so she made up a genre: Nouvelle 55, flash fiction of 55 words based on a piece of art. She then challenged her readers to do their own.

How could I resist? I love flash fiction. I even have some of my scribbles posted on my website, under the category Fiction in a Flash.

So I took one of my favorite paintings, Woman with a Parasol, by Monet (which I've actually seen in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC).

And here's what I wrote:

You use more than paint and canvas.
You consume lives.
"Stand just so - hold it! Don't move."
In the glow of evening, we expect the same fire
Of passion in your arms
But we cannot receive any because it isn't yours to give.
It belongs to Art.
Hurry, finish! I grow tired here.

Your turn. Find a piece of art, a sculpture, a photo, something that makes your mind tell a story. Then share it with the rest of us.

Well, go on. What are you waiting for?


Brian Miller said...

nice. art has much of my fire but i try to keep enough to warm the house in the evening...smiles.

Gayle Carline said...

Brian - thanks for leaving a comment. The Monets might have had a perfectly wonderful marriage, but when I was looking at the painting, I got this, 'take the damn picture' vibe from her. We have these mental cliches, that artists are passionate lovers and accountants are not. What if Art drained the artist of their creativity in other areas?

I'm glad you can still keep your house warm, though!

Sean Vessey said...

I enjoyed your words and flash fiction. Thank you. Yhey are stealing more than images are they not...

Anonymous said...

You are so right Gayle. Art, whether in the form of poetry, photography, painting, music or whatever else one might be passionate about does indeed consume lives.

Well written and concise, descriptive and humorous...you hit it on all cylinders. Good job and challenging as well!

Gayle Carline said...

Sean - thank you for your kind words. In one sense, the artists immortalize their models. In another sense, so much time wasted in a pose. Perhaps it's just my own busy life, thinking of all the things I could be doing if I wasn't holding a parasol in the middle of a field.

Gayle Carline said...

Tolbert - I'm honored. Thanks. Art does consume us, whether we are too busy writing a scene to pay attention to a real conversation, or too occupied by the light on the curtains to notice the house is on fire.

Shashi said...

Nice post Gayle... I enjoyed reading it. thanks for sharing..

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Om Namah Shivaya
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