Friday, April 09, 2010

Erdrich's "Advice to Myself"

LOUISE ERDRICH: [I’ve]” just got to be Erdrich. I can't do anything else. I'm going to read this, 'cause this is what I finally had to do. I had to give myself advice …”

Excerpted from: the transcript, of Bill Moyers’ interview of Louise Erdrich, found at … ... and edited by John-Michael (in structure only [spacing, capitalizations, and punctuations] … no text altered)

Advice to Myself
Louise Erdrich

Leave the dishes.

Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.

Leave the black crumbs at the bottom of the toaster.

Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.

Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.

Don't even sew in a button.

Let the wind have its way … then the earth
that invades as dust … and then the dead,
foaming up, in gray rolls, under the couch.

Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.

Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzle ...
or the doll's tiny shoes …

on't worry
who uses whose toothbrush …
or if anything
matches ... at all.

Except one Word to another … or a Thought.

Pursue the Authentic.

Go after it with all your Heart.

Your Heart, that Place
you don't even think of cleaning out.

That closet stuffed with savage mementos.

Don't sort the paperclips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner again.

Don't answer the telephone ... ever ...
or weep over anything that breaks.

Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator.

Accept new forms of life and talk to the dead
who drift in through the screened windows … who collect
patiently on tops of food jars and books.

Recycle the mail, don't read it … don't read anything
except what destroys the insulation
between your Self ... and your Experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry JM but I have to tidy up. The thought of mold in my refrigerator & dried crusty stuff on the floor truly invades on my life experience. Have a wonderful day :)

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