Friday, September 28, 2007
In Praise of July
I recently read a terrific, inspiring Miranda July interview in the October/November issue of Bust magazine. Whenever I get a glimpse of Miranda's world view via a piece like that or read an insightful short story from her new collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You, or rewatch her beautiful feature film debut, Me and You and Everyone We Know, I'm left wishing that I could have her as a life coach. Or art teacher. Or friend.
There's just something about how she synthesizes the world that is preternaturally insightful and heart-swelling.
Like filmmaker Wes Anderson, July takes precious little details and makes them soar with greater meaning. She's an incredibly intelligent, real-life Amelie who makes art that makes sense.
I know I've linked her short story, "The Shared Patio", before, but it's one of her best and worth your click.
Here's an excerpt showcasing some of her quirky genius:
" I asked Vincent more questions, and his answers became longer and longer until they hit a kind of cruising altitude and I didn't have to ask, he just orated. It was unexpected, like suddenly finding oneself at work on a weekend. What was I doing here? Where was my Roman Holiday? My American in Paris? This was just more of the same, an American in America. I had not labored all week for this. At moments he would pause and squint up at the sky and I would think that he was constructing the perfect question for me, a fantastic question that I would have to rise to the challenge of, drawing from everything I knew about myself and mythology and this black Earth. But he was pausing only to emphasize what he was saying about how the cover design was not actually his fault, and then he finally did ask me something; he asked, Did I think it was his fault, you know, based on everything he had just told me? I looked at the sky, just to see what it felt like. I pretended that I was pausing before telling him about the secret feeling of joy that I hide in my chest, waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to notice that I rise each morning seemingly with nothing to live for, but I do rise, and it is only because of this secret joy, God's love, in my chest. I looked down from the sky and into his eyes and I said, It wasn't your fault. I excused him for the cover and for everything else. For not yet being a New Man. We fell into silence then; he did not ask me any more questions. I was still happy to sit there beside him, but that is only because I have very, very low expectations of most people, and he had now become Most People."