Sometimes, when she's finished practising, Izzy comes into my studio to ask if I'll listen to her play the violin. I turn around and smile, only too happy for this unexpected break from revision. She plays Bach for me, dizzying passages by Pablo de Sarasate, the crashing chords of Bruch. I sit there, but at the same time I'm carried away, enchanted as I've always been by this girl and her love for music.
Tonight, when she finished, I asked her to listen to a few pages of my novel. She sat down as I read through some passages I went over this afternoon. The language was better, more certain, and when I looked up I could see it had taken her somewhere, too.
And that is more than I could have hoped for today as I wander through this world built of words, working and reworking it, wondering if this story will ever mean anything to anyone. It is hard to know and easy to doubt. Lately it has been lonely, discouraging, and deeply engrossing.
But I saw Izzy go into that world and look around. And I could tell she was happy to be there.
Tomorrow I will get up and keep revising, remembering the way she looked when I finished telling her the story.