"It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see."
– Henry David Thoreau
For those who do not feel the need to make sense of the world, it serves them well. For others, the poets, the writers, the artists, they tell their stories in an attempt to make some sense of the world they live in, if only for themselves. This, in small part, explains how art is born.
Find a quiet dark spot and listen to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, or next time you’re in Madrid take a trip to the Museo Reina Sofia and look at Picasso’s Guernica, or pick up a copy of Camus’ The Stranger to get an idea. They were all composed as the artist was attempting to make sense of the world.
The writer may have come to their craft because they’ve realised that, at heart, they are outsiders, their immediate world is alien to them and they therefore need a method of expressing that alienation. Other endeavours act merely as weigh stations until the realisation hits too late that the time has come for them to try and talk themselves out of it.
For although everyone has a story to tell, not everyone has the facility to tell that story. Sometimes it’s given to others, knowing that the stories must be told, because we need them, subconsciously we know we need them, to sustain us.
What is certain is that whilst some are busy making the most of the world, there are others trying to make sense of it. What is also certain is that the talent being applied to this effort can overcome almost anything, even encouragement.
Words Worth Reading
It’s been two years and I haven’t been able to write. That second book taunts me. A combination of factors has contributed to this creative inertia, summarised, in general terms, by the existence and subsequent evacuation of a brain tumour and by the summary afflictions that comprise recovery of same.read more
I gave a friend a lift home from our support group meeting. He doesn’t drive, recovering as he is from his brain surgery. It was a good opportunity to catch up with him, hear news of treatment, of recovery progress, to share the odd anecdote, and complain about the traffic.read more
There are times, when viewed in the rear view mirror, when those moments of temporary crisis are upon us, when thought strings are tangled, when things spiral, that all we want is some small semblance of control.read more
Stories Worth Telling
Floyd Collins sat on the hood of his Dodge putting on his walking shoes. The “hood” is a much more appropriate name to describe the flap that opens up to the engine than what the English would refer to as the “bonnet”, which is what you put on the head of a one year old English girl who’ll grow up to marry a gentleman of the aristocracy.read more
One wet, cold September night some years ago now, a boy was born. It was late, his father, a veterinary surgeon, was out tending to another birth, a cow, in a time when it was hardly expected that a father would be in attendance for the birth of his child, he would be much more likely to be asleep, or having drinks with friends, than with his wife about to give birth.read more
Patrick Allen bent down, the brown paper bag lay on the ground in full view. He picked it up and he looked inside. It was money, a lot of money, crisp new notes. Someone’s betting money Patrick thought. Maybe it’s ill gotten gains, he had no way of knowing, it was a racetrack after all and gains were there to be had, both ill gotten and legitimate.read more