Friday, June 8, 2012

That's a Chair

books saved from a library purge

I recently finished reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. It was my third attempt over several years. I love her writing, but at the same time, finishing any book by this writer is a struggle for me. Her sentences tend to flow around me and I get caught up in the sound of it, falling in love with the rhythm and the words. By the end of a sentence, I'm often left in a daze, with no idea what's going on.

But I knew exactly what was going on when Lily Briscoe, an artist in the story, says this:

"One wanted. . . to be on a level with ordinary experience, to feel simply that's a chair, that's a table, and yet at the same time, it's a miracle, it's an ecstasy."

Yes. I understood that. That's it. That's what I want my students to feel. But I think that I won't assign To the Lighthouse for their summer reading.

Otis Summer of Art classes begin Monday, July 9.

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