Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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A Certain Slant of Light

elizabeg hasn't been writing much lately. I think the pressures and pleasures of her first semester as a UCLA graduate student have made it hard for her to find time for maintaining her online journal.

She has a new, short entry today. Like its predecessors, it's viscerally abstract, a testament to her dedication to craft.

It gets me thinking about what I'd like to accomplish here. I have a mental block that prevents me from going full-bore in my creative writing. Sometimes I have to unleash prescription-strength metaphors when I'm writing a music feature or review, usually because my editor demands it.

But I have a terrible writing the kind of prose -- or poetry -- I enjoy reading for literary pleasure.

Maybe I'm just not good enough to pull it off.

More likely, though, the problem lies with my conception of form.

The slant of light I seek is the one that makes the air vent in our garage glow, providing just enough indirect illumination to make out what sort of items are in a file-safe box, but not enough to really read anything.

And yet, I have spent the better part of my aesthetic life -- back to elementary school, really -- thinking about the way light falls on a landscape.

I'm dubbing some Mini-DV tapes onto VHS for my parents today and saw some footage I shot while driving into Palm Springs in February, the stretch where massive windmills fuck up your sense of scale. I was after the light, as much as the windmills.

I remembered that light a couple weeks ago, when I drove the same stretch in late afternoon slant light.

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