More Than the Whole

This afternoon, my daughters baked a raspberry tart, gathering like any craftswomen the pieces of their creation: oats, sugar, butter, fruit. Thinking over the book I’m writing, like any writer I gather my pieces – characters in their tangible and intangible complexities (a green and gold wool vest, a port wine birthmark, the memory of driving rashly along a rainy street), story, and language – shaping this creation.

But a book is greater than the sum of its pages and cover, and I kept thinking of Akenfield, a nonfiction book about a small Suffolk village in the 1960s, told primarily in the villagers’ own voices. The village, too, of course, is more than the sum of its people: nurse, blacksmith, head mistress, gravedigger, odd-job man.

Now that the tart is half-eaten, made in merriment by two sisters, I see that sweet delight is more than the sum of its parts, too.

… I am willing to forgo a lot of the things other people now take for granted in order to keep Akenfield, by which I mean the deep country. The power of wonder is here…. It is man’s rightful place to live in Nature and to be a part of it. He has to recognize the evidence of his relationship to the great natural pattern in such things as flowers, crops, water, stones, wild creatures. Where he destroys such evidence… he gradually destroys a part of himself.

From the village poet in Ronald Blythe, Akenfield

IMG_1682

Galisteo, New Mexico

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
This entry was posted in writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s