Thursday, December 7, 2017
To write demands recall. Recall of the minute details of all experience. The look on the face of a man who is hungry; the smell of the wind s a new day is born; the feel of a velvet milkweed leaf in the hot summer sun; the touch of a woman who can look into your mind; the pain of despair or the wonder of loving. Each detail must be observed, analyzed, categorized and recorded with the rhythm of sensuous prose. A challenge that few stand to meet it.
To be a chronicler of life is an ambitious calling, but who is qualified? Every person has their own interpretation of what’s really going on. Every eye sees a different world. The music sounds different to each ear. What is perfume to one is air pollution to another. Every personality exists in a different reality. The willingness to accept everyone’s reality is the first step toward creating an accurate set of minutes to life’s proceedings.
Take every sight, sound, smell, taste, feel, emotion and sensation, and multiply by the number of beings that have ever been or will ever be in reality or fantasy, and you have touched on the possible variations on a theme. How can writer’s block exist? The number of definitions is a number that defies definition. Infinity?
Where to start? Which direction? Any adjective can be the launching pad, any verb the plotted course, any noun can be the passengers and crew or the destination, any adverb can describe the trip. Any word in any language can be the cosmic center of an ever-expanding or diminishing spiral of consciousness that can encompass the lives of all creatures, real or imagined, everywhere for all time. The secret is the catalyst the prime mover that sets the spiral in motion. Once it starts, it can grow to universal proportions, touching every sense that has or will or should exist. Add sensations to moods, personalities, causes, goals, laws, and morality and you have a formula for writing.
What senses then should exist for a writing foundation? Would we be better off without pain, sorrow, worry, regret, loneliness, complacency, boredom, torment, misery, distress, anguish, vexation, irritability, woe, affliction, suffering, and on and on? Could the good be measured without the bad? Is there a high without a low? Would pretty be prettier without ugly? Hot without cold? Up without down? Love/hate War/peace death/life crime/laws sin/punishment /universe/GOD? Four simple words, “what senses should exist?”.
The spinning starts, slowly at first, then quicker. The spark is lit! The specter is illuminated! Spiiinnninngg, spewing fire to the far corners of the dark cool niches of your being. Starting a hundred fires that can rage to consume all or quickly die. The fire needs fuel if the spiral is to grow. Add something familiar. People. Let them spin and see what happens. Some will surely be consumed, while others hold the spark and are flung to new experiences. They glory in the light of the funeral pyre. The burning bones of the weak and unimaginative light the way through the darkness. New inspirations rise from the ashes of old ideas. This is what creativity really is.
How can such awesome power be controlled? Who can harness the whirlwind? Everything spins. The nucleus of the atom, the orbiting electron, chains of molecules, the vital juices of living organisms, planetary satellites in solar circles endless galaxies spinning through the black vacuum of the cosmos, billions of spirals, eternal and now. Pick on an unimpressive star. Elect one inconsequential planet, Single out one solitary creature. Assess its condition. Who cares?
Writers care. I care. Sometimes I care so much it hurts my insides. I see some solitary creature in some state of despair and I want to weep, but weeping does no good. I want to reach out and let it know that it is not alone. Be it a person, animal, tree or the single flowery polyp of coral on a dying reef. But then again, often I feel a cold distance about the problems of others, and it makes me question the apathy. I question who or what I am. What business is it of mine to impose my values. What the hell? I’ve got problems of my own. Who reaches out to help me? If I can hack it, damn it, so can you.
But if I didn’t care, why the hell am I writing this? Why go through the trouble of trying to express the confusion that has a hold on me? Is it a substitute for real-gut level involvement? A copout on reality? What I can’t say to an individual face to face, I can say to the whole world on paper. Could be if I didn’t express myself on paper, I wouldn’t express at all. Then I surely would implode or explode as the weight of confusion crushed my mind.
So, writers, write. Justify it. Even if writing as a vehicle of expression feels like non-involvement. Write!