Scott Cheshire Recommends...

“Reading, at its best, is about getting inside someone else’s skin. Writing, for me, is about getting further into mine. The novelist Max Frisch said of his own writing: ‘What shocks me is rather the discovery that I have been concealing my life from myself.’ I write for that same discovery

and it requires a sort of soul-spelunking not always readily accessible. Sometimes the way is blocked. When this happens I stop writing, and turn to music. I pick one record, put on headphones, close my eyes, and listen. I do not pause. The fact that this seems radical to some shows how distracted we are—forty-five minutes? Alone? No computer? How frightening. Lately, my choice is John Coltrane’s Crescent, from 1964, the studio record he made just before A Love Supreme. In comparison, I find it a more ruminative record, and darker, more show than tell. It does not come with a prayer, as does A Love Supreme. Not that there’s anything wrong with prayer. In fact, it seems as good a word as any to describe Crescent, which never fails to take me outside of myself, even as I delve deeper, to those quiet, forgotten, foundational places I forget about. Crescent is both guide and pack mule on a long narrow road to the interior.”
—Scott Cheshire, author of High as the Horses’ Bridles (Henry Holt, 2014)

Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan