July 17, 2010

How the book came to be

My publisher has written a beautiful description of how the book came to be. Go here to read it. I sometimes wonder why I write, but I write. In the solitude of the metaphorical attic—yes, there was once a real attic—the writing is a solitary act and the joys come in the room of my own where I work—small but precious like flakes of snow on a midnight walk. When someone who believes in the book speaks from his heart about it, my heart comes to understand that the attempt to make art—flawed as that effort might be—gives meaning to the narrative of my life where no such narrative is really possible. Thus the impossible becomes possible. Ah, the paradox! Ah, the search for meaning!

And here I am being interviewed about the book:

(Re)Making Love: A Sex After Sixty Story from Mary Tabor on Vimeo.

I'll close today, in thanks to the many authors who are alive and well and appear in my book and who generously gave their permission, with brief quotes from their startling work:

From philosopher, film expert, and insightful reader Wendy Doniger's The Bedtrick:

You go to bed with someone you know, and when you wake up you discover that it was someone else—another man or another woman, or a woman instead of a man, or a god, or a snake or a foreigner or alien, or a complete stranger or your own wife or husband, or your mother or father. This is what Shakespearean scholars call ‘the bedtrick’—sex with a partner who pretends to be someone else.

From the poet for our time Dana Gioia's Interrogations at Noon:

. . . and watching her undress across the room.
oblivious of him, watching as her slip
falls soundlessly and disappears in the shadow.

But what he watches here is his own life.
He is the missing man, the loyal husband.
sitting in the room he craves to enter . . .

From the poet of love, life and life's questions Robert Hass's Human Wishes:

In “Privilege of Being,” Hass talks of the angels up above in the unshaken ether and crystal of human longing as they watch those making love in that awkward pose of ecstasy and he reminds that life has limits, that people die young, fail at love, /fail of their ambitions.

From the poet philosopher Hélène Cixous's Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing:

Crossing the frontiers to the other world without transition, at the stroke of the signifier, this is what dreams permit us to do and why, if we are dreamers, we love dreams so much. It’s the cancellation of opposition between inside and outside . . . .

The words of these wise souls grace my book and the permission given for the use of that work was given graciously and with deep thanks on being quoted. I learned from these authors how goodness operates in the world and that what one withholds gets lost, that what one gives enriches the world.

This flower for Doniger, Gioia, Hass and Cixous and for all who visit this page: