Book Review: This Is the Water by Yannick Murphy | Books | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Book Review: This Is the Water by Yannick Murphy 

Published August 6, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

From This Is the Water

[N]ow the national anthem has started up [...] And you wonder why some put their hand over their heart when the anthem is played and why some just put their hands behind their back and why you yourself put your hand over your heart when you're not in the least inclined to show patriotism. You're certainly not inclined to show patriotism by having troops go off to war, and you start wondering how strange it is to live in a world where so much of what other people do and what your government's doing is something you wouldn't do at all, and it makes the living you're doing seem as if it isn't living at all, at least not in the big sense, only in a small sense, in the way the goose you have at home lives, knowing only what's in the immediate area, not thinking beyond the fox by the pond and the hawk up above. You wish you could think of the bigger picture sometimes, how to come up with a solution to poverty, the dilemma of thinning ozone, the inevitable threat of worldwide drought, and not always be concerned whether the swim towels you washed can come completely dry in a forty-minute cycle or do they need sixty. Not always concerned whether the swimsuit you bought online could have been purchased for less on a different site. Not always concerned that if you hadn't let your daughter go to the public library a week ago during story time when all the preschoolers were entering the building, then she wouldn't have caught a cold and had to miss three swim practices in a row, possibly causing her not to be at the height of her conditioning now. Not always concerned about the fact that Thomas never touches you, and that maybe it really doesn't matter. Like you said, there's no blame, there's just the next morning with his body taking up your side of the bed, and you being pushed closer to the edge of the bed, where there's a gap almost wide enough for your body to fall through, and if it did you'd hit cobwebs, dead flies, balls of dog hair, and books you started but never finished, and maybe you'd be sucked down even farther, into that void where the horrors of everyday life swim around in some primordial stew you could never pull yourself up and out of.

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About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.


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