“To that effect, I think what compels me to write stories is the simple act of getting them out of my head. In an effort to become better people, we’re always trying to make sense of our past or some trauma that we suffered through, and for many, we use art and creativity to do this.”
Presumably, we’d all once found something magic in making art—why else were we taking this class? Yet no one ever described the joy they felt in witnessing something beautiful. All of Elliott’s prints were beautiful. It was as simple as that.
I would wash my hands
After opening the refrigerator
And looking in at the lunchmeat and tomatoes,
The blimp-shaped pickles in cloudy water.
“What both the book and the project have taught me is that when you realize you’re not the only one experiencing your specific pain, it is a relief.”
The Land Between Two Rivers calls to mind James Agee’s “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” in that both books were written by “amateurs”—both Sleigh and Agee are/were first and foremost literary writers, yet their books are works of journalism.