What’s in the details? Perhaps a world in a sugar egg.

I’ve been rereading Lia Purpura’s 2006 book of lyric essays, “On Looking,” and soaking up its textures. Her piece “Sugar Eggs: A Reverie” attempts to weave a path through the inner and outer spaces where, she writes, “I can count and collect that which stirs, and has always stirred me.” “I have been considering this space since I was a child,” she says, “and its particular atmosphere is best illustrated by … sugar Easter eggs. The space is contained between the eggs’ two crystallized halves, sugar soldered around the middle, so the hollow inside shows (dimly through the sugar-domed sky) a scene: glazed disk of blue pond, whipped peaks of snowy mountain, hard yellow ducks with black-dot eyes and scalloped, grainy sugar bushes… This space is a privacy into which, as a child, I imagined, not my body but myself, eye to the window at the egg’s pointed end, the dim, egg-shaped world before me.”

She continues later: “I’m talking about a space that makes a place for thought, an air considerably pure in which objects–say sugar bushes, sugar trees—grow precise in their stilled distance…”

The essay spirals into snow globes and stereoscopes and Sea Monkeys in a jar. Worlds within worlds within worlds. Drawn from looking. (You can read the essay on the Amazon site or here http://bit.ly/X8u5ve, after which, if you’re smitten, you might want to support the writer and Sarabande Books by buying a copy.)