Thursday, April 16, 2009

not your type, however.......


At the office we had a splurge of orders that cleaned out most of the stock and then gradually Miss Crippin's work tapered off to just forwarding the mail. For over a week we idled the hours away in each other's company. I was full of radical ideas, wanting to discuss books and the news of the day, the theater, a thousand things. None of it interested her, as she was involved with her religion, really trying to live up to its mores. Yet in spite of our differences, it was a wonderful time. It seems impossible but there it was. We really beamed at each other each morning. True, she never wore anything under her skirt, but that was the only concession. Her sexual need was in a logic-tight compartment that made her seem to have a dual personality, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the companionship that's possible for people with no like interests that sometimes reaches the stage of great beauty, of complete openness, of steadfast warmth, when all signs show it to be patently impossible.

-excerpt from A Heaven in the Eye, by Clyde Rice

It is the only book that my father and I ever shared, I reading it first and purchasing a paperback copy for him one Father's Day (the only gift I ever sent him during the only year we ever corresponded). He wrote that he loved it, but I knew that he would based on similarities he and the author had regarding a strong identification with specific place-names and a gutter-hot feeling for the women in their lives. If he hadn't drowned in the bottle my father might have written a first novel at 81-years of age as Clyde Rice did. Heaven knows he had the talent, and a gritty collection of keen and ironic observations to feed it.

*Information added after original posting: A Heaven in the Eye may be purchased from the Friends of Clyde Rice website.

art: Office at Night, Edward Hopper


francessa said...

Lydia, what a coincidence - I saw the original "Office at Night" a few weeks ago at a Hopper exhibit here in Vienna!

Looking to the Stars said...

Lydia, beautifully done and very positive :)

Lydia said...

@Francessa- Wow, I guess that is a coincidence! I envy you being able to see original Hopper works. I adore his art.

@Looking to the Stars- Thanks so much for saying that. :)

Paul van Yperen said...

Hopper made a beautiful, sad painting. And I felt the same about your post. The intimacy gave me chills. But in a good way. Thanks for sharing.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

You are so open. I love that about you!

Drowning in a bottle is such a scary thought. I am so glad to know that we won't have to worry about such notions with you, my dear.

thanks for sharing.

MuseSwings said...

Wonderful excerpt from the book and your own life. The painting is beautiful as well.

Beth Niquette said...

I loved the picture, but even more, I enjoyed your comments concerning your father and the book.

You are a wonderfully talented writer. Keep it up.

Mark said...

Interesting. I will have to check this book out, thanks.

steviewren said...

Bob of Holland stated my feelings about your reminiscences very succinctly. Sad but beautiful, just like the painting.

Darlene said...

Clyde Rice made an important point that people of opposite beliefs can surmount their disparate personalities and enjoy each other's company if they leave their biases at the door.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree because you inherited your father's gift of writing.

Lydia said...

@Bob of Holland- I so appreciate your visit and was moved by your comments. :)

@Wayfaring Wanderer- Thanks. :) I'm very grateful for that too.

@MuseSwings- I'm happy you enjoyed this post. Wouldn't have been the same without Hopper!

@Beth- Welcome and thank you so much for your comments - means a lot.

@Mark- I think it's a remarkable memoir. I also enjoyed the sequel, Nordi's Gift. Rice lived life in his own way, that's for sure.

@Darlene- So sweet of you to say that about me. :)
"if they leave their biases at the door" = you are so right!

Incidentally, have you yet been able to see the movie Russian Ark?

Lydia said...

@steviewren- I apologize for skipping my reply to your comments, which I appreciated so much. Welcome!

I'm off to explore the blogs of the first-time visitors here in these comments......

j said...

Great pairing of text and image. And I love the phrase (with all its implications) "both shared a gutter-hot feeling for the women in their lives."

Lydia said...

@Jennifer- Thanks, Jen. It means a lot for you to love that phrase and get its implications.



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