Sunday, October 31, 2010

Like a Hermit's Joy -- of Early in the Morning


Don't we all discover at some age or another that there are some things we'll never get any better at, even though we have no idea why and hardly ever notice it when it happens, even though we may have enjoyed these things and might not have been lagging behind last time we checked? Learning to draw for instance, was a familiar catastrophe--all of a sudden, unaware, you just stop getting any better at it, your drawings never progress beyond those of a four-year-old or a six-year-old, you're left behind by those who "can draw," condemned to producing flat doughy figures on the page, with no sense of perspective to them and (this was what really struck me) no resemblance to the outside world: condemned by your ruined self to a shameful childhood. It was the same for lots of other things you were supposed to get better at, and even though the teachers and the coaches--themselves beyond repair--tried their best, they too were stuck, unable to grasp that we just couldn't understand what they effortlessly understood. Something in each of us was broken beyond repair.
-- Jean-Christophe Valtat from his novel "03"