Until the Eye Opens
                writings from blind faith

by Patricia Hughes


"Until the Eye Opens
   writings from blind faith" front cover




RAW ArT PRESS Experimental Prose Series promotes books with experimental narratives. How inventive can language and new structure be in finding ways to explore and express subjectivity? How can the individual’s sensibility, stream of consciousness, innate patterns, construct language to tell a story, which is still one of our primary ways of communicating meaning to others?
Until the Eye Opens is a narrative composed of self-enclosed, chronological paragraphs of ten years in the author’s life, writing and living in Woodland, Elk Creek and San Leandro, California. The paragraphs, not connected by sequential content to one another, can be as close in time as from morning to evening, from day to day, week to week, month to month with gaps of three months to a year at a couple of points—the thread of the narrative never lost. The paragraph structure, even without sequential continuity of content, gives a sense of dialogue as each paragraph deals with daily life and awareness, the center of “the ruby vein” sought. The author’s dialogue between self and life is given expression by way of invoking you

You leaves abstraction behind to stay personal in the moment with one’s whole being. Hughes remains focused on this quest in every paragraph: paragraphs that are poetic, narrative, memoir, cries, illuminations. Dialogue with the you holds the paragraphs together, even as she questions the you. You as other and self. You as past, present, future, the infinite, as supplicant, worship, prayer, as the slicer, as the beloved. No answers given, questions, the goal—each paragraph coming by way of body and heart, and the moments of pure being shine through as daily life rolls on and takes its chaotic, mortal toll. Doubt and longing, the scorching that brings joy and sorrow, is where we are left in our freedom, ever-turning. Hughes brings “being,” her muse, to the foreground in Until the Eye Opens. And we too are lifted into being’s wonder through her sheer tenacity to keep it in sight.

She asks, “Is this devouring desire for freedom the symptom of some sickness I should want to cure?” On a personal note, working with this writing has been a joy.

Trena Machado


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