Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Monday, September 16, 2013

and so she writes, who am I? am I not the only one?

Some of my favorite stories I like to hear, especially when getting to know a person, is when they open and up and tell me "the book" that changed their lives. At some point in our conversational relationship, they learn I read and write, and then it is shared this amazing piece of literature they once read, that affected them so deeply, that it was adopted as a sort of bible they live by.
 
For me, this is a fascinating thought process and behavior, since personally nonesuch "book" exists in the schematic of my life, and sometimes I wonder if I hadn't at an early age decided that I wanted to be a writer, if perhaps it would be easier for me to choose one "book", versus the reality that is my passion, and how I have lost count of all the authors, and poets, and lyricists, and artists who I've admired over the years and devoured during my own periods of restlessness and seeking.
 
The power of the written word, and art as a whole, is an ideology I wholly support and recognize. I see scenarios where the messages are rich, and influential, and used to promote the better good. And then also, there are the interpretations of text, of what the artist is trying to say, and sometimes even the extreme case, where the art is taken to another personal level outside of the intention  and control of the artist. History is riddled with these worst case scenarios, but as a writer I can honestly say I hope that my work only inspires compassion and beauty, rather than a degraded version of what people think I'm trying to say.
 
There must be a science to choosing one "book". Is it because it was read during a time of change, or upheaval, or loss, or confusion? Like being in the right place at the right moment. Is it security that these words provide? Reassurance? Affirmation? Is it because it struck a chord so close to home, you saw yourself inside the pages, and you lived vicariously in this character's world?
 
Friends have passed on their "book" to me, because they believed it helped to explain who they were, better than they could explain their selves. I've dated a man who was Howard Rourke. I know a playwright, who at one time owned nothing but a copy of The Magus and a sleeping bag in L.A.
 
I read differently as a writer. I connect, but yet I digest the art through an understanding of how it was crafted. There are books that have changed me, but not because I could quote their lines as though they belonged to me, or I could confuse them for my own. But because I wish I had written the lines first, because an author beat me to the punch, and because their damn good writing makes it that much harder to find an original voice.
 
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“God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.”  - Sylvia Plath
 
“Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours.” 
-Hermann Hesse

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