"There is a horizon for me to meet. This is a limitless astonishment." (Rona Wang on Cranesong)
As part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Rona Wang’s Cranesong, Rona has stopped by various blogs, social media profiles, and literary journals across the Internet to share exclusive unreleased short stories, guest posts, and interviews pertaining to Cranesong. Don't miss a guest post by Rona at Night Music Journal, an excerpt from and review of the book at Ink and Myths, a guest post by Rona and giveaway of the book at L’Éphémère Review, a review and giveaway of the book at Lunacorde, and an interview with Rona here on the Half Mystic blog. Today, Rona joins us once more for a guest post on the creation process of Cranesong…
I don’t know if I have ever plucked a story that wasn’t about math. Some write about the moon, its tidal churning; some write about music, our tender piano hearts. I write about math because it is the truest song I know. Translation: I’m not certain I could believe in tomorrow’s sunrise if it weren’t for axial tilt, the calculus of momentum.
There was an instance when I didn’t love math. January: the skyline was two parts wine and three parts decrescendo. I imagine it would have tasted like swollen plums. The sun dipped towards the Hudson River, skimmed every window copper. I wanted to safekeep that spill of sunset, but I was swallowed by the trading floor of a financial firm. Between unspooling code and knuckling coins, there was no space for the sky.
Give me integrals bronzed into poetry. Give me the linguistics of Fibonacci numbers. Give me more than the moneyed fists of Wall Street and algorithms that forget about every small miracle.
Postulate: I am the sum of an infinite sequence—of an ancestral lineage that ascends centuries. I am iterative. I am a collective. I am a series.
My second-grade family tree was a fractal spun from almosts. Differentiable nowhere. My parents couldn’t remember their grandparents’ names, only the provinces from which they hailed. An overseas phone call to confirm with relatives in Beijing cost seventeen cents a minute. I didn’t yet know that absence was supposed to be the color of surrender.
Years later, I would write Cranesong—a bright collection brimming with imaginary homelands and conjured ancestors. None of it was real and somehow, that made everything more honest.
Mathematics isn’t real, either. It whittles us into useful fictions. We do not live in a world of Euclidean circles, but it’s a pretty story, to imagine us orbiting each other at perfect pace.
Postulate: I converge. There is a horizon for me to meet. This is a limitless astonishment.
For years, I wanted to diverge from my heritage, because to do anything else would be to assume the debt of being loved. I couldn’t bear this spiraling algebra of sacrifice: if my parents sutured that bright wound of the Pacific Ocean, and my grandfather palmed folklore into light at my childhood bedside, solve for ξ, where ξ is that foggy variable containing everything I must become.
In writing this book, I learned that this is not a burden. It is a wonder, these partial sums I’ve inherited. My trajectory as exhale. Here are the stories that root me. Isn’t it brilliant, isn’t it magic, isn’t it true.
Rona Wang’s Cranesong explores the trauma that clutters our bones, the echoes that infuse our language, every dawn that insists on spinning into existence despite it all. At the same time, it lingers inside wild wind, consumes the cartography of longing, interrogates all the colors piano music can hold. For the next two weeks, Half Mystic is hosting a blog tour in collaboration with over a dozen other blogs and journals, featuring reviews and giveaways of Cranesong, interviews with and essays by Rona, and exclusive, never-before-seen content on the creation of the book. Cranesong is available for preorder now.