Saturday, September 27, 2008

Page 68

I actually did a little writing today, going over and touching up my new work-in-progress (wip). I am up to page 68, which I consider an achievement. Me of the little tiny novels. I have heard of authors who have to break their bulging manuscripts into two or three books. Two or three books! I'm always lucky if my meager word count constitutes one book.

No new writing today, though, because while I am feeling enormously better than I did the entire week following my surgery, I am still more tired than usual.

Since I spent most of this past week sitting on the couch doing exactly nothing, I was able to watch the entire documentary, The War, by Ken Burns. I had seen it before, but spread out over time. I find it an astounding achievement, though of course there are people who have grumbled about this or that. Which is fair. I myself was disappointed, having read the excellent, Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, by Joseph Bruchac, that the code talkers were not included. But Burns had his focus, carefully explained if sometimes lost in the vastness of the telling. Indeed, World War II is such an enormous subject that Burns could make ten fifteen-hour documentaries and still not tell the entire story.

I am so absorbed in this because it helps me understand my parents, who were of the WWII generation. My own generation was Vietnam, the fight for Civil Rights, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. While I was only a passive observer, I have never quite escaped the pain I experienced in the sixties, but it never seemed to occur to me that my parents could not quite escape the searing pain and fear of the Depression and WWII. Which is an enormous lack of insight on my part.

I often wish I could talk to them now, without all the walls flung up and all the anger and all the misunderstandings--on my part every bit as much as theirs. It is sad, to come to understanding so late, but that is what has happened.

On a different note, I finished, Lord of the Deep, by Graham Salisbury. It was terrific. Deep-sea fishing, a boy tottering on the edge of young manhood, and human weakness--exciting and sad and moving and satisfying. Salisbury's point is a true one, that the people we love most will disappoint us deeply, and we will disappoint them.

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