Chronicle of the Wind-Down Bird

Chronicle of the Wind-Down Bird

Skyline Drive, Virginia

September brings us new poetry by Ali Zaidi, A. J. Huffman and Raymond Farr. Returning champ, Donal Mahoney, writes about the well-springs of art.

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How does one’s health impact writing, reading and making art in general? How does it derail or derange one’s sense of priorities and connection with life’s mission? I am certainly not alone in thinking about such things in moments such as these, when faced with certain severe alterations to the norm. Pick up most any biography of most any artist and you’ll find maladies aplenty — some so painful, endless and agonizing, you almost feel embarrassed for ever uttering a complaint about your own scenario. Knowing that can situate you in the stream and lessen — at least for a time — a natural desire toward overwhelming personal resentment. You shake your fist at the heavens and then remember others had it and have it far worse. Or you laugh until it hurts.

So, here I am, finally getting around to reading Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles and thinking:

What a self-defeating sort of illusion to succumb to pain, or the illusion that you’re above that pain, or the self-lie that merely by naming the pain, you somehow defeat it. But you first have to get out of that intense fog generated by that pain in order to know you’re in delusion, and I don’t have any really cool wells nearby.

More on Murakami’s novel later . . .


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