Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Writing and Love

Writing is a very difficult process. Choosing ideas, taking angles, and gathering facts are but milk for the butter. The arduous process of churning those facts into an enjoyable piece is both time consuming and exhausting. A writer cannot sound like he is reciting a data set. He must turn statistics into poetry, numbers into pictures, and opinions into revolutions. He cannot waste a word. Stories must flow off a page like a river stream in times of peace and come down with a raging torrent during unrest.

Occasionally, he must create dissension. Freedom of speech is the right to disagree. The written word can alter the course of human history given the right pen. We writers then have a responsibility to treat every word as if it would change the world. Countries and kings have risen and fallen on this premise: I disagree. The written word is often the flint and the fire. Words can spark imagination, ignite passion, and burn a man alive, if left unchecked. If you are reading this, you believe in the power of the word. You are submitting your time to my opinions on writing. You have two options: agree or disagree – It is your choice. All I can do is offer my view of the world: it is a very cold place with one window and a locked door. You can see the sunshine from the sill but you are scared of the heat on your skin. You are afraid it will burn. You will never know until you take the lock of the door and go outside. This entry is the key. Open your mind to a world of possibility.

Writing is the language of truth. C.S. Lewis once said that the praise of something is not complete until it is expressed to another. By writing down my ideas I have submitted them to everyone for all time. My name becomes attached to my thoughts and I, therefore, become my ideas. I see the world and am displeased. I have a better way and here it is: love. Here, in one word, is my entire message. Love is the rhythm to the music of life but if we become deaf with indifference, we will forget where we are. The only way forward is together.

I have lived. I have written. I have submitted to your opinion. You must decide whether the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

1 comment:

  1. Agree: mightier.

    My problem is knowing when to use the pen as a pen and when to use the pen as a sword. Not to kill, but to remove the fat, to cut us free, to tear through the bindings on our wrists, the gags in our mouths, the blinders over our eyes.

    One of my very favorite bands, House of Heroes, has a few songs that I will now quote.

    "In the Valley of the Dying Sun" opens:

    "In the valley of the dying sun
    I walk a crooked path alone
    I came across the shadow of a man
    With an angel's breath

    'O boy' he said to me
    'I see your future'
    'Though you long for peace
    The sword is your father"

    And from "Code Name: Raven"

    "And I don't hate my enemy,
    I hate the cloud he's brought over my land.
    There's no virtue in killing a man,
    Neither is there virtue in being afraid to stand."


    PS. I like you, Larry. Keep writing.