Snowballing toward the moon

Around and around. Trying to think of a way of integrating some of the themes that have hummed through my thoughts this week--the dusky sphere of the eclipsed moon, the circles Allan Ludwig photographs, the process of revising my novel. I mean integrate the way Alice Munro often does in her short stories, by developing relationships from fragment to fragment.
Photo by Richard Culbert

If there is any potential for integration it might start with an image from the weekend, when the snow-bright gleam of the crescent at the top lingered minutes before the earth's shadow totally covered the full moon. What was revealed, what hidden.

Allan Ludwig's circle photographs, found through his Flickr id of Elisha Cook, Jr, feature objects he discovered while roaming the streets of lower Manhattan. The page displaying the street art that is his subject includes circles of all kinds. Interesting to see what has attracted his eye. A tire that appears to have been vertically sliced in half, making a perfect black lifesaver; a gleaming frame that may have been moulded from some shiny material and into which someone has layered a bright pink blob that looks vaguely marine. Covers over the round mouths of pipes, where oil enters the labyrinth beneath Manhattan. There are a couple of flattened silver cans whose present outlines recall and also defy the original cylinder. The top of a fire hydrant; a round poster advertising a dj's turntable services. All images that provoke curiosity. What's the story, of the objects themselves and also what the photographer sees in them?

In midwest winters, if the snow was just the right texture, we used to pack it into a lumpy little sphere and roll it across what had freshly fallen until the ball gathered enough snow to become the base or the fat middle or head of a snowman. A matter of accretion. As I go through my novel with the idea of adding to it, I find that it is a matter of accretion there too. An image clarified with more detail, a relationship complicated, a plot point more consciously foreshadowed. On a given page there may be a single word I have added to this draft, or a paragraph. I have taken some words away too. Seldom as much as a page added or deleted as the novel gradually rolls towards the mass I envision, an end result I hope will reveal and suggest what is not explicitly revealed at the same time.