My Job

It is not an easy thing to describe feelings, philosophies and ideas with mere words.  How often has it been said that "words can't express" x or y - that "words aren't enough"or "can't convey" what we hold in our hearts?  As I was thinking about all the different stories I would be bringing back home with me from a journey to a beautiful island where I drank sunshine, spent hours in the ocean, and felt love oozing from my pores every minute, this phrase kept coming up.  As I collected ideas, they came to me in bits and pieces like broken coral and seashells along the shores of Kauai.  When I picked them up to consider where they might take me when I got back home, I kept thinking about how difficult it would be to describe the texture and feel of my emotions, epiphanies and transformations.  But after reading the first short story in Bruno Schulz's The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories, and nearly fainting over the way he turned words into a paintbrush, creating an image of a basket of fruit and vegetables like I've never experienced, I realized so much was possible, so much could, in fact, be expressed, explained and brought to life with words.  And that this is my job...this is my task now that I am back home at my keyboard, stories spilling out of my suitcase, still strewn all over the floor, having left a trail of scattered letters and images and thoughts all over my house.  It is my job to figure this out, and decide how to piece together all of these elements in way that leaves no doubt in the reader's mind what kind of joy swirled through my veins this week, and how it managed to seep through my skin in the first place.  That is my job, that is my task, to not just move beyond the "words can't express" roadblock, but take a sledgehammer to it, smash it to bits and find the way to create a connection between myself and whoever reads my stories, whereby the reader reads my unique arrangement of words and simply says, "Yes, I see." "On those luminous mornings Adela returned from the market, like Pomona emerging from the flames of the day, spilling from her basket the colorful beauty of the sun - the shiny pink cherries full of juice under their transparent skins, the mysterious black morellos that smelled so much better than they tasted, apricots in whose golden pulp lay the core of long afternoons.  And next to that pure poetry of fruit, she unloaded sides of meat with their keyboard of ribs swollen with energy and strength, and seaweeds of vegetables like dead octopuses and squids - the raw material of meals with a yet undefined taste, the vegetative and terrestrial ingredients of dinner, exuding a wild and rustic smell."  -Bruno Schulz

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide