Tags: Overcoming Difficulties In Life EssayAntithesis MacbethScholarships With Essays 2015Nursing Application Essay SampleCritical Thinking In WritingCharacter Analysis For A Rose For Emily EssayExample Of Problem Solving In Math With SolutionShaklee Business Plan
Place is always central to the writing of an essay for me, because we live in our bodies and whatever we know comes within the experience of our bodies.
My best essays, I think, are unafraid to be stories. In another interview, you talk about experiencing what Auden, in his essay “The Protestant Mystics,” called a Vision of Agape, when you were undergoing surgery for kidney cancer.
I mention in that the night my mother died, the floor lamp at the foot of my bed turned itself on.
If Jesus ever appeared to me, as He appeared to Reynolds Price, I would not mention it here. I remember feeling something like a warm rush of water over my body.
All I will tell you is that one summer dawn, in a dark pre-op room at St. I did not levitate but I came close to the joyful lightness of being that the astronaut freed of gravity enjoys.
For most of my writing life, I have stood truly, if uneasily, on American bookstore shelves as a sociological sample—shelved “Latino” between a gangbanger’s book of poetry and the biography of a Colombian drug lord.
Only in recent years, as it has become clear to me that so few people I know read books, have I been struck by the fact that I am a writer. From boyhood, particularly my lower-middle-class childhood in Sacramento, I was transported by religion into the realm of mystery.When a Mexican male nurse who looked strangely like me—of the same age and toothy smile—pushed my gurney into the surgery, he softly told me, his face upside down over my head, that he had survived the same operation, and that I must not worry. I smiled almost to laughter when I shook the lead surgeon’s hand. I appreciated your take on it as a somehow fertile place.I had come to associate it with boredom and acedia, the noonday demon, about which the desert monastics used to complain.I long regarded the desert ecology with a curiosity I gave to no other landscape. I love the semantic paradox proposed by the noun we give to the desert—a place we define by what is no longer there.In a dentist’s waiting room, as a boy, I stopped attending to the shrieking drill behind the pebbled glass window when I beheld photographs of the North African desert in . Once there were seas, once great tribes crossed these plains, great flocks of animals, once angels were as common as herons.For all of the passion and energy in Saroyan, however, there was something sexless about him—the son of a Presbyterian minister.Maybe that sexual diffidence deepened my sense of companionship with him.Consider this: The Irish nun excused me from arithmetic class so that I could serve as an altar boy at a funeral mass. There was a fresh pile of soil piled high at the edge of the grave site, discreetly, if unsuccessfully, covered by an Astro Turf rug that was as unconvincing a denial of the hardness of time as a cheap toupee.Along with the priest and the other altar boy, I would welcome Death at the doors of the church. I wondered at the mourners’ faces—the melting grief, the hard stoicism. Were there certain writers that you looked to in forming your style? As a reader, I knew Auden the poet many years before I knew Auden the essayist.For reasons of my own, I did not, for many years, imagine sex in my writing.I should mention two other influences crucial for my appreciation of the personal essay. I began with and I never let go of him—through the years of the Negro Civil Rights movement on our small black-and-white TV, then the many decades after.