Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!
For this session we read an excerpt from This is Happiness by Niall Williams, posted below.
Our prompt was: “What are you chewing on these days?”
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from This is Happiness by Niall Williams
I couldn’t meet his eyes. I took a bite of the bread.
The thing about Doady’s brownbread is when you take a
bite of it you’ve taken a bite out of the elements, earth, air,
fire and water all, and while your mouth negotiates with the
grainy dryness now made a ball by the moisture of the butter,
while you realise that by an alchemy of bakery the lump of
the bread in your mouth is bigger than it seemed in your
hand, keep chewing, and that there’s nothing you can do now
because you’re getting a first-hand practical demonstration of
what Duns Scotus called Thisness, keep chewing, the dense
solid mass of the undeniable, you can say nothing for a bit.
You can wave at a couple of drowsy bees warmed awake and
delirious on the early coconut of the furze blooms. You can
make a low throat sound to signal you’ll say something shortly,
but while you’re eating Doady’s brownbread, keep chewing,
you’re gagged by the essential stuff of substance, that insists
on its own primacy, that, like life itself, is partways laughing
at you and partways saying Take me seriously, because other-
wise it may just choke you. So, I said nothing for a bit.