Neighbouring Vitality

There is this novel written in the genre of memoir. What I like about the narrator’s voice is that he presents as a person who is beloved — surrounded by people who care about him. He is rarely describes moments of being alone. Yet this from whence flows the narration, a place of connectedness, a desire to not be alone.

He [Daniel] and I talked for a while longer and then he left and later, when I was alone, I thought about Teddy and I missed him and I sat at my desk with a pad and a pen and began to write.

And a few paragraphs later the focus is future-directed with the same yearning for the image of a group of people delighting in each other’s company.

[Our narrator has been to the park.] When we reached the meadow I watched two shirtless youths, both short, brown, and muscular, passing a soccer ball between them and the sight of the outline of one of their penises made me smile. After I watched them play for a while I spread my jacket on the grass and lay back on it and looked at the clouds passing by in stately order, and gradually I fell asleep to the sounds of the kicking and bumping of the soccer ball and the calls of the young men using it, and just before I slept I wished that death could be like that: falling asleep on spicy-smelling grass with the warm sun on my face while nearby life, youth, vitality, live on.

It is always amazing how a wish becomes a book, how a wish is a source of vitality.

At least it is true for one book: Valley of the Shadow by Christopher Davis.

And so for day 551

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