Monday, 3 August 2009

What Worked Today

I'd decided to write a piece in, and on, every street in Hillsdale. I didn't have anything in mind for an order, or much in mind at all, really, except the knowledge that whatever project momentum I've built will push through and beyond the next moment of writing.

I'd thought about setting certain formal regularities for all the street pieces--after all, I reasoned, the physical lay-out of Hillsdale was itself highly formalized--but hadn't settled on any. I leaned (not sure why) toward Uhrich Avenue for the first piece, and this morning when I checked my alphabetical listing of Hillsdale streets, I saw that it was the last one. And Anderson, where I'd lived as a lad, was first. Perfect! So there's my order, last to first.

Before I set out for Uhrich, I added Don Kerr's poems (see an entry or two ago in this blog) and Saramago's Journey to Portugal, from which I've borrowed the figure of "the traveller". The plan was to walk, take pictures, look around, then sit in the car at the corner of Uhrich and Bryant (the weather sketchy today) and write, dipping into the books as required.

That I did. One line from page 417 of Journey was enough: "The higher [of two small hills] rises so steeply out of the plain that it looks artificial". As I'd just noted on my walk, Uhrich rises. Uhrich rises--that notion would take me through the next few pages. After that, we'll see, the traveller says.

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