March 15, 2009

A perfect arrangement inspires awe

At the end of a book review, one that gets more space then nearly everything else in this newspaper, I am stopped by this:

"In America, everything is numbers. But I am happy if I write one good sentence."
- Elie Wisel, author, speaking to Salter Reynolds, a Los Angeles Times staff writer in a review of "A Mad Desire to Dance," Weisel's 49th book.

Imagine. He has written 49 books and realizes the power of just one sentence. He can recognize happiness in one small achievement.

That echos a feeling I had yesterday when I lost myself for several hours in Sue Monk's Kidd's "The Mermaid Chair." Twice, I was stopped by a sentence that was so perfect it made me stop rushing through the tale of a woman's search for self and just think about the phrasing.

A day later, I cannot recall the words without searching through my quote file, but I remember the feeling of awe.

The combination reminds me to center goals, hopes, and dreams on something smaller, something within grasp then perfect parent or 24/7 optimist. Can I enjoy the journey and really become the recovering perfectionist my Twitter profile describes? Can I realize the newsroom is closed permantly?


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