Old Moon

Monday, October 19, 2009

Creation and Imagination

I have a sense that I should be sticking to comments from the point of view of a writer on this blog, so readers may take that into consideration. As a would-be novelist, I seem to discover almost day by day some new insight that I find it hard to believe is new.

The rites of passage in our lives should so often be, however overwhelming, less unexpected in how we experience them than they are. If we read, if we listen to the conversations and advice of our elders, how is it that we're so often unprepared? I don't mean for the events themselves and when they occur, since no one is clairvoyant. I'm speaking of how little we know of ourselves when faced with one of them.

I remember how amazed I was by the idea that a man I found incredibly attractive in every way (could hardly think of anything else) would want me; I recall the emotional upheavals of childbirth--each one--and now I'm knocked out of my proverbial socks by the passage of time that ended first for my husband and that leaves me floundering here on my own.

All this being the case, I have to ask myself how I can have the impression I who have been around long enough to know about such matters could make fiction that includes them and be believed. What really blows me away is how young writers manage to take on this challenge and manage it as well as so many do. I guess the real question is: how can you evaluate imagination?

1 comment:

Glenda said...

Like you, I find myself wondering so many things now. It seems to me no one can write about loss of a husband or wife without the insight we have from our experiences. Imagination is great, but experience is absolute. I have never read of loss in any book that comes close to explaining the way it has been for me.

I cried when reading books about the loss of character I adored. Beth in Little Women was the first character I remember who died.
Honestly, I remember the movie scene more than the book. But books and stories tell of the death and then go on to more interesting scenes. Readers don't want to know the truth of the pain of mourning and grieving. It is taboo to dwell on the sorrow and it seems to me that sorrow is obviously avoided, or when written about, the grieving person is made to seem mentally ill or pitiful because she has not bounced back to "her old self."
I'd like to read a book that tells the reader the truth. Only someone who has had the experience knows the truth.
We are all ill prepared for death although we know it is likely to happen because no one in the U.S. talks about death and grief untill they have to face it.