As a teenager, I worked at the Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, then called simply the Huntington Library. Access was more limited in those times. The public was not admitted until early afternoon. That meant staff had some 120 acres of orange groves, desert planting, lily ponds, bamboo forest and meditative settings all to itself to explore during morning coffee breaks and lunch hours.
A writer walks each day, each waking moment, really, through acres of words, species rare and common from which to choose. As each sentence is built, we hope for a combination that is, improbably, unlike any that came before. Memory, vocabulary, experience, education, ear, subtle neurological connections, all determine the expanse from which we select.
This is a way of reminding myself that each seed, every stem, the entire observable world and what may hide behind its face, can find its way into the story. Today I read poetry, written as a list, a list that told me to reach farther than I think I can. When my fingers close around the exact phrase, I will know. Pull it from whatever obscure corner it has occupied and let it speak.