thank you Proust

by rachel

Haven’t posted in ages so I thought I would today. However, this isn’t written by me – I’ve been in a bit of a dry spell lately, maybe I’ll try tonight. For now, here’s something from Tarkovsky’s Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema that we read in film class. It’s actually written by Proust I believe.

“The steeples seemed so far away, and we appeared to be making so little progress towards them, that I was amazed when, a few minutes later, we stopped in front of Martinville church. I did not know the cause of the pleasure I had felt from seeing them on the horizon, and it struck me as very laborious to have to try and discover that cause; I wanted those lines, stirring in the sunlight, to be stored away in my head, not to have to think about them anymore…”
“Without actually telling myself that what was hidden behind the steeples of Martinville must bear some relation to a fine sentence, since it had come to me in the form of pleasurable words, I asked the doctor for pencil and paper, and, despite the jolting of the buggy, in order to ease my conscience and obey my own enthusiasm, I composed the following fragment…”
“I never thought about the page subsequently, but at the moment when I finished writing it, there in the corner of the box where the doctor’s coachman usually put the chickens he had bought in Martinville market, I felt so happy, so freed by it from those steeples and from what was hidden behind them, that, as if I myself were a hen who had just laid an egg, I started to sing at the top of my voice.”

I don’t believe I’ve read a piece that’s moved me so much before. It encapsulates everything I feel about writing and the need to distil the moments around me into sentences. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.