Jacob Lawrence, "The Lovers," 1946
Jacob Lawrence, The Lovers (1946)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

November 18, 2003:

She has a unique ability to invest the most mundane things with all the wonder of childhood, as if seeing for the first time through brand-new eyes. The light in the room, a dog's face, the breeze through open windows: everyday details which other adults tune out through sheer familiarity are for her sources of virgin wonder, and all her features, her eyes, her voice, reflect delighted surprise. She sees miracles where others see nothing, and she shares her delight with me in a way which helps me to experience it, too. It would be hard to imagine a greater gift.

She's the most mischievous person I've ever known. She plays with everything, all things, all day, all the time. She refuses to allow those around her to take anything for granted: every detail could be a slyly brilliant joke. I love this because it forces me to really experience my moments of contact with her. And her jokes are wicked funny: no-one has ever made me laugh the way she does.

She's the finest communicator I've ever encountered. She has the gift of nuance: her word choice, her tone of voice resonate far beyond the immediate object, so much so that I sometimes feel I've personally experienced something she's only told me about. In my lifetime this gift is unique to her. It's one reason I so much love listening to her.

And there's that intangible "something" that happens between the two of us which makes me feel we understand each other. That explanations aren't necessary, that two or three short words convey a lifetime of richness, or maybe I should say more than one lifetime. The sense of recognition, of exactly what I'm not sure I can articulate, perhaps of a kindred soul, or a related one.

All of this mediated through a physical presence I find electrical, like a body made of sparks. Without seeing her I can feel her in the building, and when I do see her I have to touch her, if only to hold hands or nuzzle shoulders together, like magnets with the right charge, unable to keep a distance.