Friday, August 30, 2013

What Do You Know?

This is a post about books, writing, and art. I think this photo is fitting.

"I write what I feel, and I feel what I know."

This was my driving point in a 10 minute speech delivered in the persona of Shirley Jackson. Confused? Let me explain. 

In 10th grade Honors English, we were tasked with picking an author to study for  an entire semester; quite a lofty project in the eyes of a 16 year old, yes, but having just finished reading Ms. Jackson's "The Lottery" as a class, I made the decision that I didn't want our relationship to end with bafflement and confusion (reading "The Lottery" will do that to you). So she became mine. Three novels later, the final project was to deliver a piece of our epically long culmination essay out loud to the class, as our author.

I don't know why I chose the words I did then to encapsulate Ms. Jackson's style, nor do I, looking back now, think that phrase is even something she'd particularly say. "I write what I feel, and I feel what I know." Perhaps.

But, I do remember my English teacher at the time pointedly asking me if I had read the phrase somewhere or if I had written it, and here's the thing; I already knew it. I wrote what I felt down because I already knew it in my gut. That phrase had been rolling around my head for so long, but acting as Ms. Jackson gave me the excuse to finally write it down. It hasn't stopped rolling around in my head since, even to this day 10 years later. So yes, I guess I wrote it, but it isn't really a new thought now is it?

By now, I'm sure you're reading this asking yourself what my little story has to do with anything I'm doing these days. I asked the same thing not but an hour ago, because there I was finishing up a well written novel, and BAM, there is that silly little phrase again.  

So, I can only assume I need to embrace it in my art (that or become the writer I often daydreamed of being). Either way, I think of it like this: I can create and make what I do because of how something or someone makes me feel. A heart is just a heart unless there is intention behind it - love, adoration, peace. But none of these emotions would register or even cultivate themselves as creative ideas if it weren't for a known presence or inspiration currently influencing me in my everyday. 

I know that for some reason, I have now set myself on this path with PageFree, with a lot of support along the way no doubt. I can only hope my "writing" or in this case my art, is enough of a vehicle for me to someday convey my feelings about the world I know.

If I haven't lost you yet, THANKS! But really, thank you for sticking through this post; sometimes you just have to write a thought down to bring it into its fullest potential, you know? 

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