on lightness

I seem to only write these days when I have a whole lot of homework due. I’ve an essay due on thursday, so here I am.

This week I find myself thinking constantly about this article from The Rumpus. It is Italo Calvino; “on lightness”. Calvino strips the weight from his writing. Even here, he talks about his earlier influencers; “Certain writers I read as a boy, like Stevenson, have remained models of style for me, of lightness, narrative impetus, and energy.”

I find myself thinking about this concept of striping back the weight. It is like taking off that diving bell suit that Mathieu Almaric wears in “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” I’ve written about this before, how strongly Jean Dominique Bauby’s story speaks, that while “locked-in”, he told a story, blink-by-blink, letter-by-letter.

Mum posted today. She writes “I find myself thinking about what Barbara Johnson said, that we are “Easter people living in a Good Friday world.” I consider how easy it is to get stuck on the bad news. In Jesus’ time the resurrection happened in just two days, but in our lives sometimes it takes much longer…When I think about Easter I picture my dad in his clergy robes and I hear him saying, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”” Mum and Sam teach me to find buoyancy in difficulty.

Jon Foreman writes “you’re a needle girl, in a haystack world, we are right now”. We are called to hope. In hope, against hope we believe (Romans 4.18). Indeed we are in process of restoration. As Bill Johnson says “we have not yet arrived.” And still, we are in such good hands.

As quoted, in the Rumpus;

“In his youth, Calvino wrote tangible, considered stories, fictions rooted to the ground with references to the political and social backdrop of his own 1940s Italy – stories about soldiers on trains, factory workers, bachelors. Before long, he grew weary of such realism, finding it increasingly difficult to synchronise his instinctive impulse to write with the frantic spectacle of his surroundings. A gulf grew: Calvino wanted his writing to be deft, nimble, light, but the world around proved to be increasingly heavy and material. And so he began to remove the weight from his writing, and in doing so gained a lightness which in time produced masterworks like Invisible Cities and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, writings that speak to the universe, that speak across place and time.”

Resurrection Sunday, hope eternal. And so we live in Him in Great hope, until perfect lightness takes us home.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “on lightness

  1. i watched ‘the diving bell & the butterfly’ a few nights ago. man. courage & determination i’m almost certain i don’t possess. my brain hurts tonight & so i don’t know what else to write…but i shall come back soon & finish this comment. big love to you, oh-member-of-the-froggatt-family-whom-i-have-not-seen-in-twelve-billion-years-&-that-makes-me-rather-sad.
    love x

  2. Mick

    Beautiful words!
    Maranatha

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