“The world doubles in size. Something like that happens when you really see someone, and if that’s so then it has something to do with why everyone in Vertigo keeps falling. There wasn’t any falling, any tragedy at the center of “Slip,” just moving on into this vastness.
—A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit
In the exerpt above Solnit refers to two films, David Hitchcock’s Vertigo and one of her early projects, a script she wrote for a film-maker/boyfriend while living in San Francisco. It’s from an essay called ‘Two Arrowheads’ and the book’s an bundle of personal essays woven through with historical, theatrical, and literary stories.
I’m taking the book in slowly. Each time I read, I can devote my full attention to the world she creates which comes across as honest and kind. After all, it is her own. I was and still am struggling to see beauty the city, a place with more people than trees. Many days, I grow tired of the constant noise and endless public appearances I make even on a morning walk.
But Solnit is so genuinely in love with her San Francisco that she gives me hope. She reminds me that writers need people. “Writing is its own wilderness” she notes. The bustling busy streets bring us relationships, and the fiercest of these bring us back from the desert of our work.