Absorbing: Thirteen Moons

“I CANNOT DECIDE WHETHER IT IS AN ILLNESS OR A SIN, THE NEED TO write things down and fix the flowing world in one rigid form. Bear believed writing dulled the spirit, stilled some holy breath. Smothered it. Words, when they’ve been captured and imprisoned on paper, become a barrier against the world, one best left unerected. Everything that happens is fluid, changeable. After they’ve passed, events are only as your memory makes them, and they shift shapes over time. Writing a thing down fixes it in place as surely as a rattlesnake skin stripped from the meat and stretched and tacked to a barn wall. Every bit as stationary, and every bit as false to the original thing. Flat and still and harmless. Bear recognized that all writing memorializes a momentary line of thought as if it were final.”


“I KEPT THE ledgers by the new-style calendar—the names of the days in the week, the numbers of days in the month. But in my mind, those were beginning to mean nothing, and it was just the four seasons and the thirteen moons wheeling across the night sky that marked real time.”

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

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