Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Am finally reading Roald Dahl's R.A.F. memoir-slash-short fiction collection Over To You, which I bought in Vancouver to read in Alaska but never got to until this weekend. Like his childhood memoir Boy, it's a bit fragmented, a bumpy ride, inconsistent. But its got a gemlike quality when it works, a sense of tone and ear like Hemmingway, and a hint of Catch 22's sly humor, and when Dahl turns a phrase, he really nails it:
It was not easy having only one child. The emptiness when he was not there andf the knowing all the time that something might happen: the deep conscious knowing that there was nothing else to live for but this; that if something did happen, then you too would be dead. There would be no use in sweeping the floor or washing the dishes or cleaning the house; there would be no use in gathering wood for the fire or in feeding the hens; there would be no use in living.

Tonight Willow called me in to her bedroom as she sat there in the dark on her mothers lap. I came to her, and knelt down by the rocker, she gave me a benediction: outstretched arms, a hug and kiss, and a unification, a closing of the circle around us, a recitation of our names together -- Daddy, Mamai, baby -- before yawning bye bye. Knowing not to question a miracle, I left on cue. It was, after all, worth waiting for.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:48 PM |

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