Florian’s Prelude to air from Water is a set of prose poems presenting characters that seem to grapple in certain moments in time. Through the book, readers are challenged with to interact with some moments that the characters in the book seems to resent, take for granted and at times seems to present much suffering to them. In a way, the book also present to the readers just how irredeemable some moments in life are and as such, the chances to realize these irreversible and beautiful moments tend to be based on the a person’s perspective towards those moments as well as towards other people that one encounters in such moments.
In Prelude to Air from Water, the prose poems do not dwell so much on just a given moment, but rather on the events taking place at a given moment that creeps past people entangled in the moment. The twin girls, the truck drivers, the lovers among other people in the prose poems are some of the people who Florian has used to reveal the preciousness of each moment in life(Oventile).
Florian manages to set forth a myriad of incidents that normally to overwhelm any given moment in time where in each moment, there is a discernible pattern of flow of events. From this pattern, it therefore becomes evident of the intricate interaction of events that exist in a moment. In order to comprehend the poems, it is vital to note that each of the proses begin with a meditation that begins with an introductory paragraph of the main characters. This is then followed by introduction of the moment in which the characters are entangled in.
The manner in which Florian introduces ‘The Moment’ has a huge significance and logic towards understanding of moment. It is quite discernible that most people do not take notice of the beginning as well as the winding up of a given moment. Taking the story of the two men sitting across a table from each other at downtown diner(Florian), a reader cannot help but to notice that when ‘The Moment’ enters, none of the two young men notice. As a matter of fact, a keen analysis of the story reveals that The Moment entered the diner through the exit. This implies that one can only realize a given moment when the moment has past as signified by the exit.
In the story of the two girls in the cemetery, it is quite evident that at any given moment, although it is normally beyond human consciousness and realization, there are usually a number of forces and factors that interact in nature. From Florian’s description, at the cemetery, there is an illumination that seems to make the marble tombstones glitter in the darkness of the night. The girls do not take this as extraordinary. Even when “a tombstone just from a fresh grave” engraved with the words “No name/Born-Died” they do not take notice of the moment(Florian). Sandy may have used this symbol on the grave to signify and describe the nature of moment. She indicates that moment has no identity and therefore cannot be noticed and is equivalent to a grave without a name or a date of birth or death. However when “The Moment” enters, one of the girls appears to have gained consciousness of the particular moment when she notices “a falling star” which to her looks “Perfectly simple”. Such is the human mind, always unaware of the moment and on the few occasions where they are aware they only generalize whatever they perceive as simple and perhaps obvious as “a falling star”(Florian).
Another story in Prelude to Air from Water that further highlights on the issue of moment is the story of the two cement truck drivers. As evident in the story, the idea of moment is well illustrated. Florian presents that at any given moment, there are two almost events that are taking place at two different places. In the story, not only are the two drivers dressed in the same manner, but they are also driving on similar roads only that they are leading to a different destination; one heading to Texas and other heading to Green Lake. This is quite obvious the day to day life of man. Florian however tells the readers that “the moment sits alone at a desk……. piled with stacks of letters”(Florian). This is symbolically used to indicate just how human beings can be at two different places at one given moment separated by their emotions. In this context, one gets the impression that perhaps it is only one driver who is imagining himself heading to Green Lake city while at the same time picturing himself working in an office with a stack of papers in front him. Such is the nature of human beings. Always yearning to accomplish a number of tasks or being at different places in one moment. However, as the story winds up, the reality dawns to the cement truck driver, who realizes that being at two places at any moment is as far apart as two people separated by a wide land, and thus being the other is an impressive impossibility. While engrossed in such thoughts at a given moment, there are high possibilities of stalling when one is hit by reality just as the two drivers in the stories
Florian further advances her idea of moment in one of her stories of a man dressed in plaid pajama pant and a yellowed tee-shirt in front a mirror in the bathroom. In this story, it can be presumed that Florian is of the opinion that at times when one tries to examine certain minor details at a given moment, they tend to lose touch with the reality. As discernible in the story, the white man was brushing his teeth when he suddenly stared in the mirror and was startled by the overlapping images of himself in the mirror. Even, when the probably the wife brings him a glass of water; he appears to be dumbfounded and even sees the wife as part of the illusion.
In general, through her stories Florian presents that most people rarely take notice of the moments that they are caught in. However, in situations where they seem to be aware of the moment; they tend to look at events as simple and obvious. Additionally, she further presents that human beings tend to wonder in different places at any given moment through our thinking and imaginations. Finally, she also asserts that it is not a rare occasion for someone to be startled by our imagination especially when one tries to go deep into finer details of certain events any moment.