Playlist: To the right in the blue box
Heart Status: Thoughtful
There's something so winsome about true authenticity. Honesty draws me into friendships quicker than a wicked sense of humor (that's usually the icing on the cake).
The same holds true for any form of art. To see a dancer pour it out - leave it on the stage along with sweat and blood - brings me to tears. I feel the same when I hear music that's undeniably pure - Miles Davis and his horn - or singers who infuse written words with their own vulnerability - think Billie Holiday or Corinne Bailey Rae.
I was given the book Love Story by Erich Segal as a senior in high school. I read it in one fell swoop, lying on my couch, and I cried so hard I had a pool of water in the indention between my collarbones when I was finished.
You ever have those moments when you are overwhelmed, overrun, overfull of emotion? You have to get it out, whether it be joy or sorrow or anger or what have you, but all that emerges is a primordial screech?
No? Only me?
Still, that's how I want my writing to make people feel. I don't like making people sad (I don't like to be sad), but to grasp true happiness, sadness has to be part of your story. Not just your written story, but YOUR story, the story of your life. If you don't struggle to win the prize, do you value it as much as you should when it's finally yours? The same holds true for writers and our fictional babies. Some wise writer-type once said the best way to write a great story is to get your protagonist up a tree and throw rocks at her. (props to James Scott Bell)
I've come to realize that I've thrown some rocks at Emerson, but they could have been bigger and sharper. I've not made things as bad as they could be and I must. Because I know my girl (it's hard to birth a fully grown teenager, BTW), and she'll come out of it with flying colors. And my story will be all the better for it.
Now, I'm off to do the work to make sure those colors are as honest and bright as they can be.
Happy Memorial Day. Remember those who died for your right to live your story. Live it well.