—- my experience
had shown me most
promises were constructed
entirely of words.
But it helps to know someone’s listening.
– from “Impossible Germany”
One can only humble themselves as much as one’s identity will allow. We are, at times, too frail, too fragile, too selfish, too selfless, to caught up in our emotions to just be within the moment – within ourselves inside that moment. Because, afterall, it is not always easy to trust our own identity to help us succeed, or at least exist.
We never really escape our own disasters. In fact, “owning them is an irredeemable trait”. It’s unsettling, it’s frightening, but it does turn glass to stone. It does, however, create beauty. Somewhere behind that anxiety, there is a hope for and a wonder about the future. What Kari Flickinger has done in The Gull and the Bell Tower is to approach identity with caution. To approach each disaster, each success, each of life’s moments as something that can be overcome – at least eventually.
It’s the “fine threads in every word” to which we must cling. Be it lover, self, or narrator, each word carries a tinge of narcissism. Each word, a “yearning dipped in a dream-filter.” Flickinger reminds us that no matter who we are, we are at least an identity worth the effort