Home > Mutating the Signature > Dear Seven: A Circle of Epistles (3)

Dear Seven: A Circle of Epistles (3)

February 20, 2009

Part 3 of a series of 7

Dear Mary—

I would like to talk about rooms. William Gass proposed that a book is a building for what the brain has spun. So a letter is a room. Your husband’s letter to me was full of location, as if he and therefore I were rapidly beaming in and out of chaos: Captain Kirk and his obedient lackey. Basements and parking lots, orchestra pits and grocery stores. He is so active, your guy. (But when we sit at the table, he is stalwart at your side.) I want this letter to be a little sendable bag for what my sleepy Sunday brain is knitting. Wooden needles click.

I am writing to you from a new room. An old room in our 120 year-old house, the room that was first my son’s then my daughter’s and now refitted for the son again in preparation for his return from college. Everything is IKEA neat right now, the only muss the dust on top of the plastic fortune-telling Buddha, the one I gave him last Christmas, the one sitting on some glib western manufacturer’s idea of buddha responses, like look within.

Content as a mug of tea here, because Sam will return in a few days. We hung a long green batiked scarf in the window and everything is now watery green, my hands as I write you, my pajamas, his posters and books. A moist, dim green against the November outside.

If letters are little knitted compartments of saying, then I should hurry and say before I run out of yarn. Your daughter is a temple. My daughter is a swimming pool. Your daughter is an atrium. We are both splendid galleries within the museum of this city. You are a library stacked with real wisdom, truly. Your daughter is a volleyball court. My son is somewhere in Boston now, his body a concert hall, his eyes will be blue all the way back to Chicago.

Yours, Alice

PS Don’t show this to Mike yet, he needs to wait.

by Alice George

Download the MP3

For notes on the process, see the first letter in the chain.

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