Saturday, May 14, 2016

Reading About Writing

I'm reading Douglas Kennedy's The Moment, some of which is set in Berlin in 1984. The protagonist is a writer, gone to Berlin to observe and take in - to find a story. He lodges in the apartment of a painter, and - watching him one night - notes that, "Every so often there is a here-and-now in the realm of creative work .... A strange switch is thrown in your brain. You are not pondering or cogitating or thinking about what happens next. You are simply doing. The work has taken you over.... That's it. The moment. The most unbridled form of romance imaginable. Pure mad love." [italics his]

I remember that experience during the writing of numerous essays and humorous writings, an experience reminiscent for me of what I have heard sculptors say, that the work of art was already there in the stone, and they were freeing it by their pounding, chiseling and cutting. (I drove past an abandoned gas station-truck-garage-restaurant complex in the desert, killed by the Great Recession of 2008; and I saw that the work of art was there, turned around and went back to photograph it - and it was there, just waiting for me to find the lines of sight, and I did. I knew as soon as I saw it - at 65 miles per hour - that the piece was there, waiting to be seen. Finding the lines to capture this tragedy was simple, just a matter of being open enough to see the loss and emptiness. Attention had to be paid.)

The moment is what matters.

1 comment:

  1. Extremely fine writing. I liked this very much.