Jessica Moore on Everythingness

H. L. Hix: The very early occurrence of the sentence “Everything, now, becomes a letter to you” (14) is later “corrected” to say that “maybe I got it wrong and everything, now, is a letter from you” (92).  Obviously, the book’s title emphasizes the importance of that contrast.  I know it would be reductive and oversimplifying, but would it be wrong or misguided to view the book as arriving at a conjunction of those two?  To read the book, in other words, not as replacing one with the other, at first seeing everything as a letter to Galen, then seeing everything as a letter from him, but instead as merging the two, coming to see everything as both at once?


Jessica Moore: This is what I would hope readers would come away with – this doubled, expanded sense of the everythingness – the two-directional pull of it. The sense that everything is both a gift from (the self, the other, the universe – for lack of a better word) and a gift to. I don’t see this as reductive or overly simplistic. Because to really hold this notion in the mind is not small or trite, at all. It is simple but astonishing.

There is a doubling that occurs on a few levels with this book – the double-consciousness of the writer-translator, building on phrases borrowed from the translated work; the double-consciousness of memory – in which one must hold two selves simultaneously (as in the poem “This is what happens”), both the present self and the one from before (who is still experiencing warmth and love); and then the doubledness of attempting to live or conceive of a relationship with someone who has crossed out of physical existence. I’m still not sure what I believe about this (or how to say what I believe), I only know what I felt. In the dream that informs the second piece you’ve referred to (“Everything, now”), I felt an extraordinary warmth to think that the letter I received came from somewhere else (how to name this other place? spirit? Galen? my own highest self?). Dreams were a potent source of this feeling, and in that first lucid year when they were frequent and intense, I felt that I was living more fully on the side of spirit and souls than I ever had before. This, strangely, made me feel both otherworldly and closer than I’d ever felt to the world around me. So it is not at all wrong or misguided to see the book in this way, as a conjunction of the two, a letter to and a letter from. In the ultra-clarity of the world sharpened by loss, you might say that every thing became a kind of letter, heading in both directions, both out and in.


Jessica Moore.  Everything, now.  Brick Books, 2012.


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