Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Flash

And then, for one glorious, supreme
moment, came "the flash."

It had always seemed to Emily, ever since
she could remember, that she was very,
very near to a world of wonderful beauty.
Between it and herself hung only a thin
curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside--
but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind
fluttered it and she caught a glimpse of the
enchanting realm beyond--only a glimpse--
and heard a note of unearthly music.

L.M. Montgomery,
Emily of New Moon


I sometimes think that writing--or any pursuit of one's passion--is our clumsy breath on that curtain. Most of the time, it stubbornly stays put. But when true inspiration strikes, that corner lifts, and we connect with all the beauty and rapture beyond.

If just for a moment.

I wasn't particularly like Emily as a child. Her last name wasn't "Starr" for nothing. She was a strange girl: a little mystical, a lot temperamental, whereas her sister in letters--the plucky, lovable Anne of Green Gables--kept her feet nearer to P.E.I. earth. I loved them both. I still love them. The fiction of our grade-school years imprints us like none other, after all.

But there was a darkness to Emily's New Moon world that appealed to me. I didn't completely understand her depth as a character, but I was willing to take the plunge. Her "flash" was something I wanted to share in. And now it's something I--like so many of you--still chase.

Oh, did I mention she was a writer?

(This post is dedicated to Sheri, the Anne to my Emily. :) )


*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Those lines are breathtaking.I can so relate to them.Writing transports one into an entirely different world,full of green vistas where the imagination is free to run about and play with no restriction.

I have not read Emily.I have Anne Of Green Gables however,and plan to start it at the soonest,thanks to this post :)

Sheri said...

Ahhhhh! You KNOW I love this posting! This is the nicest bloggy thing anyone has ever done for me! And I am honored to have this posting dedicated to me and to be your Anne.

Kindred spirits.

This posting is truly beautiful and inspirational in and of itself. I am embarrassed to admit I never read Emily of New Moon and didn't even realize they were written by the one and the same LM Montgomery. But I am running, running, to the library, or maybe this is a keeper and I should buy it.

I love the excerpt you posted and yes, writing is just like that, isn't it? To think of it in terms of only a thin curtain somehow comforts me more than The Great Wall of China I have always envisioned in my mind. I will keep that vision near and dear.


Dusk Watchman said...

I must agree with your commentary. I recall a movie, "Ghost". When the protagonist was learning how to convey all his emotions into one act.

That would be a good metaphor for artists conveying a passion, so much effort creates just enough power to lift a corner of that curtain.

Charles Gramlich said...

Made me think of the "flash of green," which some folks claim to have seen in the southern USA right at sunset. I've always wanted to see it, never have.

Sarah Hina said...

Yes, writing--and all of the arts, really--are magical in that respect, Sameera.

I'm glad you're going to pick up Anne! I devoured all of Montgomery's books when I was younger. And I even wanted to move to Prince Edward Island. :)

Kindred spirits indeed, Anne. :)

Heck, don't be embarrassed about never reading the Emily series--now you just have something to look forward to! I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to dive into their warm depths.

I love your analogy to the Great Wall of China, too. ;) A curtain is much more inviting, and mysterious, than a thing of block and stone. Montgomery is a master of images that really intoxicate a child's imagination.

I am so glad this post touched you, Sheri! No one deserves it more. :)

Dusk watchman, you make a good point about the effort required to reach that elevated state. And yet, sometimes I think it's the moments that require the least effort that are the most beautiful and awe-inspiring. When it just "flows."

This almost never happens for me, by the way. ;)

I've never seen that phenomena either, Charles. I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights, though. That must be an uplifting, joyous experience. Someday.

Lena said...

Pursuing one;s passion, be it writing or something else, changes your world completely, brings you to absolutely new dimension and it feels somehow better when you know you are just a curtain away from it :)

Wonderful post :)

Anonymous said...

What a great contrast of intensities in that photo!

Sometimes the curtain is behind you, and the calling of art and writing is the wish for someone to step through and join you.

Sarah Hina said...

Well said, Lena. Of course, I've conveniently forgotten the times when it makes us want to pound our heads in frustration. ;)

But even then, the winds can shift on a moment's notice.

Thanks about the photo, Jason. :) Photoshop's magic wand is my friend (though she sometimes shows her fairy dust footprints...).

And yes about that call to others, and the warm surprise when someone answers. That's why we're here, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I have nothing to add because I don't think I'm smart enough. Still, beautiful.

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks, Paul. I'm sure you're smart enough, but I'll take "beautiful." ;)

Ello said...

That was lovely! And I loved Anne of Green Gables. Haven't read this one. Will have to dig it up!

Laure said...

hello! i am visiting after learning of you from sarah/quill. sadly, i also have not read Emily of New Moon. but i have to say that glimpses are intriguing indeed! i like to think that i too am very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. nice to meet you . . .

Sarah said...

I actually preferred the Emily series over the Ann series. I always thought Ann was too flighty (look it shiny). Anyways I tagged you for an award Sarah. you can claim it whenever.


Sarah Hina said...

I hope you do, Ello! Your girls would love it. :)

Nice to meet you too, Laure. :) I'm so glad you stopped by.

I'm happy you agree with me, Sarah. And thanks so much for the award!!