Monday, April 30, 2007

Reality is a Dish Best Served in Moderation

We camped out again in the back yard last night. Once again it was perfect. The whippoorwills called from dusk till dawn. There were thin wisps of fog.

I awoke a few times, lay looking up through the tent's mesh at a sky given texture by the bright moon. At one point I realised that directly above me loomed a viking warrior with a horned helm and a sword upraised in one fist. By the light of morning he had transformed into a tree. Birds roosted on his blade.

Fiction is an act of transformation. It is an act of will imposed upon the mundane reality of black words on a white page. Trees become ships, become worlds, become stars. And it's not just the writer who imposes these visions. The reader transforms the work further, in ways the writer had never forseen, or intended.

At the heart of our job as writers is to see the world anew, to transform it and let our readers transform it further. But to do so we may have to shake up our own perceptions. We may have to look at reality under a new light. We have to let the moon show us vikings where daylight showed us only trees.

8 comments:

Clifford said...

Reminds me of my bunk bed tents -- they were marvelous, cavernous escape routes to adventure...

Among my list of illusions is maturity...don't be fooled, we're all kids at heart, only the games change.

By the way, the landcape around your place is marvelous -- why bother with a house?

Sheila said...

Great post today. I fully agree! I can't believe some of the things that my readers (there are few) have pulled from my stories... things I never even dreamed but after they told me I could see it well.

Steve Malley said...

Well put, young man. Well put...

Lana said...

On my side of the tent the tree is a basketball player doing a jump shot. Wanna trade sides? *L*

Danny Tagalog said...

Inside clouds can be found eveerthing too, but twigs and trees are more fascinating

Enviously Joyous Man

JR's Thumbprints said...

When I'm in a rut and I need to stir my imagination, I go for long walks and try to see things differently along the way.

Susan Miller said...

There are times when your posts seem to hand me a key that will unlock a chain that has me anchored to an old brick wall.

This is one of those posts.

Erik Donald France said...

Nicely put. Couldn't agree more.