Introduction to THE MARRIAGE OF STICKS
It was one of those days where you take the dog for a long walk beside the river simply because it’s nice out, it’s Sunday, and there’s not much else to do. Halfway through you stop, look around and realize how utterly, blissfully content you are to be here at this moment in your life; truly, nothing else could be better. Unfortunately time rolls on and you know for sure that in two days or two weeks you’ll forget how very happy you were this afternoon doing basically nothing but living with your eyes and ears wide open. You see a stick on the ground and pick it up. Take a pen from your pocket and on the stick write the date and where you were when you found it. Take it home and start a collection: whenever something important happens in life—large or small—you look around wherever you are for a stick to mark the occasion. Write the date and place on it and put it on the shelf with the others. You do this for years. The pile grows. Now and then you think what am I going to do with them? The pile is surprisingly small because you have grown very discerning about the genuinely memorable moments in your life. Over time you’ve thrown away a number of sticks you brought home because in hindsight those times you thought were significant, weren’t.
One day out of nowhere the idea suddenly comes to you what to do with that small collection of very important sticks. You think the concept could be an interesting idea to build a book around.
About this time your wife goes to her 20th high school reunion and comes back with a hair-raising story from it about her first great love. You ask in a very careful voice if it would be all right to use that story in the book you’re about to start. She says you can.
My stick collection and Beverly’s reunion were the foundation of THE MARRIAGE OF STICKS. What happened to them and how they coalesced you’ll have to find out for yourself.
—Jonathan Carroll (via browndresswithwhitedots)