Excerpt from “A Little Levity, Please”: A Writer’s Doxology by George Blecher

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1951

This essay appeared in the Fall 2013 print issue of Tiferet. The entire issue is available in kindle edition here.

Thanks for the view from my window with its sliver of park, light reflected off a church tower, outline of a bridge miles away. Thanks for the bad caulking around the window frame, a reminder that life is draughts and aggressive bacteria as well as good views. Thanks for distractions—magazines, e mails, dirty dishes, phone messages—that take up time until the anxiety becomes manageable. Thanks for the wisdom to have stopped yesterday in the middle of a page. Thanks for the difficulty of work, and for not being able to remember how difficult it is after it’s over. Thanks for tiny truths being so shy about revealing themselves: how else could they be sure that they’re wanted and deserved?

Pigeons circling above the projects. Hunger for Chinese food—thanks to that country for egg rolls! Thanks for full stomachs and procrastination, for the urge to take a nap and the lack of will to resist; and thanks for sleep ending, the fear coming back but the birds circling, for friends’ phone calls and their petty complaints—and thanks for the revulsion against their pettiness, thanks for fantasies of power and sex and towering fame, all that pent-up frustration ending in a paroxysm of disgust, and thanks for being disgusted by disgust and finding one’s way back to work.

Pigeons still circling, though fewer. The moment around 4:00 in the afternoon when the day sprawls in an armchair, takes a deep breath and exhales. Out. In. Out. In. One is never more in life’s hands than now. Thanks. Thanks.

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George BlecherGeorge Blecher is a fiction writer, literary translator (from Scandinavian languages) and journalist whose articles on American politics and culture appear in many European publications, both print and online, among them eurozine.com. He’s published fiction and non-fiction in New American Review, Ontario Review, St. Ann’s Review, The Nation, and New Republic, and his collection of stories, Other People Exist, has been published in translation in Denmark, the Czech Republic, and Turkey.

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