Scanning the morning media blast provides a kind of pointillist information impression. Reading a good, well-written story is like catching up with a long-time, trusted friend.Read More
Art - Like Literature - Captures Essential Truths
Much of the art that moves me explores our experience at the intersection of one world and another. Sea and land. Man and woman. City and country. Feeling and intellect. Offense and defense. Generosity and greed. Benign and evil. Past and future. Trust and mistrust. Life and death.
A practical, real-life example is the boat. A boat floats on a membrane separating two universes: fathomless reaches below and infinite space above. Sailors who live in that narrow in-between are a metaphor for each of us who live between now and then, yesterday and tomorrow, right and wrong, left or right, risk and reward, failure and success. We all float, sink or fly by the choices we make.
Seen in this way, the art of sail becomes a bridge between the creative process and the secret explorer in each of us.
Lovers desperately seek perfect union yet are distinct beings. Prisoners of their bodies, they are separated by heart or mind, love or lust, soul or body, past or future. They are so close yet so far away.
Day and night are rich with potential meaning between bright color and blackness, light and shadow, openness and mystery, work and sleep.
The fact is that I am thinking about storytelling puzzles constantly, making notes about whether this story renders better through this lens or on that page. For too long, the New England Yankee in me always said, go slow in revealing what you're up to. You'll confuse readers if they think you're passionate about art, and you might confuse art collectors if they know you've published novels and optioned them for the movies. The Californian in me says relax, don't second guess yourself, trust the flow. It's way bigger than you and will show the way. The traveler in me asks what are you doing? Whatever it is, is it more important than experiencing the stories that are happening right now in the Hebrides, Antarctica and the Aegean? Who will I listen to today - the Yankee, the Californian or the traveler?
What are we to do with all the potential of these intersections between universes? We must choose. Art is born in the choices we make, where we sometimes find ways to express the beauty and meaning of this existence between opposites.
Imagine how rewarding it could be to have a tradition of sharing the day’s pages with a few fellow writers around the fire as Jack London did early last century at Wolf’s Lair.
He’d read aloud what he had written that day and get real-time reactions from friends. If Buck’s howl resonated in the imaginations of his listeners, then the passage succeeded. Buck’s extraordinary connection with his canine ancestors as he dreamt of freer days in the pages of the manuscript that would become Call of the Wild (published 1903) came alive in the flickering darkness and Jack knew that what compelled him had found its voice; his pen had touched truth that morning. When that happened, imagine his excitement. He had penetrated the universal heart and borrowed a pulse or two of Life.
That arrangement among fellow writers was unusual back then. In today’s publishing market where only ‘finished’ manuscripts are read by agents or editors, much less published, it may be vital to a writer’s survival.