To Caterina Sarti (first letter)

Dear Caterina,
I’ve also needed rapid movement. I’ve walked out in spite of the rain (maybe everyone in Vancouver has to).  If there is/was an author writing my life into existence, I have no idea how my thoughts would or should be described, explained or selected. Like you though, it would be through the lens of a creator’s lived experience, or perhaps their own, unwittingly fictive senses of self and the world in turn.
Many artists of merit (in my modest estimation) detest nineteenth century realism, the “psychological” novel, presumptions of knowableness, commonality, omnipotent understanding and the like, but there are still more besides who are just as interesting and valuable (again in my humble opinion), utilizing such conventions as one might play with language itself, as a means to reveal, perhaps even momentarily liberate, what has been imprisoned by them.  If it weren’t for George Eliot I wouldn’t know of you or understand you in relation to myself (whatever you might actually be).  I wouldn’t understand myself as I do.  If it weren’t for George Eliot how would Mary Anne Evans have understood herself? How would others understand her?  Is there something of us, of what we are/were before the existence of language, that survives dependently, like a patient hostage, within its colonizing abstractions, demands for recognition and determinations of meaning?
I’ve also thought of animals as agreeable friends, particularly during my wanderings on the Gulf Islands – the stare of a seal, the cautious movement of a doe by the tree line as I stroll down an abandoned logging road, a frog on a muddy path.  Yes, I too have noticed that these creatures ask no questions and pass no criticisms.  Another mode of being is indicated but never quite revealed.  There are no words for it, at least not any that I’ve found yet.
Such pursuits preoccupy me while on the move and as I write, as if I am attempting to counterbalance an external, vertiginous force.  I tire myself out on these jaunts and think of your delicate, aching, umbrella-holding arm and Mr. Gilfil, “who at times had his fits of jealousy and sadness to get rid of, and wisely had recourse to nature’s innocent opium — fatigue.”
If only this letter could be sent to you and I could study Eliot’s description of your thoughts and feelings as you read it.
I’ll write again soon,