lurid lights

No matter how piercing and appalling his insights, the desolation creeping over his outer world, the lurid lights and shadows of his inner world, the writer must live with hope, work in faith.

J. B. Priestly

On a good day, I have enough challenge just trying to ignore the thumping of passing cars and the porcine squeals of the neighbors’ sugar-hyped and excitable progeny. I go for weeks without glimpsing my inner world, and then it’s only late at night. Which throws the desolation creeping over my outer world into stark and unnecessarily tactile relief.

It’s probably just as well that – at least so far as the quote is concerned – Mr. Priestly didn’t trouble himself to be specific about the objects of his hope and faith.

So here’s to the opportunity to conjure and ensconce our own. 

And here’s something very cool to read: an essay on the totems and rituals of writing, by Kent Haruf, from the NY Times.