Friday, October 17, 2008

News of Passionate Intellect or Process

All forms of writing are news in some way. I was told by my, shall we say, 'mentor' that my news- writing is a process while others are news- with passionate intellect. She has, for the first time, taken to reading blogs. I told her of mine so she could "catch up" on my world, making our discussions more productive. She read other blogs, which in a few words, stated how one in particular was very intelligent and challenging and provoking and passionate, as opposed to my posts being, well, a process I have embarked upon for clarity and a voice of healing, and, as of late, to become "unglazed." She actually references the other blog often stating it is of intelligent design and demands. Demands, I questioned? To which she replied, "Oh yes, absolutely demands". Despite my best efforts to resist, I faltered and asked, "How so?" And she told me exactly how. I will, for the most part, write what she said as my recall is not 100% but you will all get the 'gist'.

Let's call the writer 'M C'. She began - "M C demands that the reader pay attention and read slowly. If I read quickly I miss a major transition from one thought to another. Now that takes skill. Also, M C presents ideas wrapped in metaphors and the uncommon yet critical shock statement that demands my attention. I re-read it as I need to be aware of it's placement to grab it's purpose. Usually it is a point of humor and a welcomed ice breaker, (as she chuckles lightly, tilting her head back and closing her eyes recalling a moment with M C), geeze. continuing on, ".............. M C demands respect and I find myself sitting up straight as I read so I can take it in proper. Amidst all the passionate intellect and metaphoric design there is deep feeling and expressed fear and hope of new strength. There is honest reflection and admission of mistakes and flaws and creative ways that M C has learned to use nature and experience to shape life. Also M C looks back on how time has allowed life to be shaped with M C as a willing participant, afraid of never finishing - and M C writes of such wisdom using a tiny red leaf, a puppet, a bridge, a bug, crows and squirrels and trees and the moon and magic and ............................." (now my mouth is on my chin as I listen to this woman of stature and extreme intelligence actually swooning and swaying, like telling of M C's writings was a sensual love song, like she fucked M C's mind), What the fuck"?
When she stopped and sort of slumped back in to the chair it was similar to how someone looks after a climax. If I had a cigarette I would have offered her one, - the situation warranted it.

She wants me to try and write in a similar fashion as she believes this will assist me - by exploring a metaphor or an object or parts of nature to relate to my experiences to bring forth what is hidden abstractly, creatively and free of barriers. No barriers in nature, right? She asked me to ask M C to give me some ideas, an 'assignment', so to speak, What? And that I should try it, do it and see what happens. I tried to give myself my own idea, I tried using a 'rock'. I went outside and sat on a rock, I picked up rocks, I threw rocks, I lined the rocks in a row, I piled them, and nothing. I became the freaking rock. Next I sat under a tree, which has one of those funny tree faces on it that we bought. Well, it was cool and I felt supported and even safe and so I touched the tree and thought about how this related to "my stuff". Soon I was really aware of how uncomfortable I was, and that trees also house many bugs and spiders so I was completely distracted. Next I entertained the pond out front. It is full of ideas, over flowing with nature in and around. The long weeds are like a jungle but I made my way down to the edge without sinking in to any muck. The green slime coating the pond is really disgusting, but hey, maybe I can use this to stimulate my memory, right? I heard bug noises, and things plop in to the pond as I am sure my presence scared the shit out of them in their natural habitat - I was the intruder. Things fell silent rather quickly and I stood there, waiting............for inspiration, a direction for writing, an experience I could attach to this scene. I could not get past the green slime, the prickly weeds, how close to the muck I was, and the real fear that a snake was certainly going to slither around my feet. I, like Jane of Tarzan, found my way out rather quickly, and other than being covered in pieces of straw- like dead weeds, I was completely unwise.

I do understand her idea. I know enough to know that when you go after something away from the process and find it creatively through a non-related idea one can get to something that otherwise will stay hidden. My process-news of self is just that, a process. I like my process and how I write, and honestly, she does too. Although she never swooned and swayed when she spoke of my writings like she did while fucking M C's mind. I get it, I do.

So, M C, you know who you are.
Any idas?

"Gah" -

peace blah blah blah


Patricia Nolan said...

In the movie Il Postino, a poet gives writing lessons to a postman and goes on and on and on about Metaphor. Maybe you should watch it.

MC often imposes emotional and/or philosophical significance on a single, visual image, and there is an element of raw honesty at times. I suspect that is what your mentor is asking you to consider.

What is most important is that through your individual journey and process, you gain insight and clarity that leads to growth. A blog is only part of that process.

Patricia Nolan said...

Allow me to point out that you are up to your ass in Freudian imagery when you discuss what you were noticing as you "failed" during your metaphor/imagery assisgnment.

Green slime, weeds, a real fear of snakes, being too close to the muck. Places that originally intrique you turn out to be filled with bugs and other nasty creatures. Dangers and ugliness lurk everywhere - especially if you let yourself get comfortable in a deceptively safe spot.
Sounds a lot like real life to me.

Gail said...

Hi Trish-

thanks for your well stated understanding of metaphor, process and the like. You are right in seeing the way I experienced the rock, tree, and pond as "real life". In my 'post' I purposely used humor in regards to those opportunities, full well knowing that each experience I could, in fact, use, and use easily and well to 'dig' in. I had to get beyond the ridiculousness of it, or better said, the fear of it, knowing it will work. Part of the process, so to speak. :-)
Thanks for taking the time, it means a lot to me.