Thursday, December 4, 2008

Haven Kimmel

I want to be Haven Kimmel when I grow up. I was already a fan of her first collection of essays about her life: A Girl Named Zippy that when I found she had written a follow up called "She Got Up Off The Couch" I got right on that and started reading.

Some of what she says is just hilarious, heartbreaking and pensive. There is one paragraph in particular I MUST blog about. She's talking about her brother, a decade older than she.

"... I loved him, loved him, a little girl is helpless against her love for a brother. ... From a distance he seemed both cold and receding, a man whose most familiar feature was his back as he walked away as fast as he could. But there are pictures of him, many of them, holding me as a baby, standing with me as a little girl, and the eye of the camera sees what nearly everyone but Elaine (his wife) missed: a tenderness so wounded it had grown ferocious and fixed as the evening star. Really, I barely knew him. When our family's darkest days arrived he could not be reached, he demanded to be left alone, he wanted no part of it, and for years I believed he hated us. I thought he simply wandered into the wrong family in the first place, like a toddler at a strange picnic who grew into the handomest of princes but remained bound by name and history to the peasants who lured him with potato salad and a tricycle."

So many parts of her novel make me cry with laughter, cry with sadness, and this last part, just made me feel like there was someone out there who had the same brother I did.

1 comment:

Kj said...

i can see why you can relate. amazing clarity and similarity really. i'm gonna have to check her out too.