Nov 12, 2009

November 11th - Bearing Witness

Bearing witness to both the beauty and the pain of our world is a task I want to be part of.
As a writer, this is my work.
By bearing witness, the story that is told can provide a healing ground.
Through the art of language, the art of story, alchemy can occur.
And if we choose to turn our backs, we've walked away from what it means to be human. --Terry Tempest Williams
What it means to be human. My life's musing.
What a delight to find writers who share my curiosity.
What has helped me bridge from reader to writer was the realization that, I may not have anything new to say, as my observation are likely to be shared by others, say for example, the observation of a sunrise.
However, my words, that I choose to express it, will be unique and like no others.
At first I would read my favorite authors whose works resonate with me, like Susan Tweit and Susan Wittig Albert and think. "That is the same thing I thought! I wanted to say that! Oh, now you have said that, I can't. It's too late."
Ah, but now I know differently. True, I have not yet "published" my words, but I can choose my words to be my own unique language of shared human experiences.
I discovered an example of this phenomenon I will call, "Oh, that's what I wrote in my journal...only you wrote it first in a book!" last night while waiting to meet my nephew for a  family dinner in recognition of Veteran's Day. My nephew is stationed at Ft. Hood where he is responsible for 174 "souls", I call them.
I prefer to think that the etymology of the word for soldier is derived from "soul" than the Roman word for "payment".
A few mornings ago I wrote about how fog made me feel closed in- focused on what is right in front of me.
A wonderful, cozy-feeling that sort of brought me back to earth in contrast to a bright sunny clear day, when my reflections seem to evaporate into the clear blue heavens- out into the great wide open. Or I wrote about the contrast with the night sky and its limitlessness.
I read William DeBuys in The Walk write about the forest as I wrote about the fog!
The night sky embodies a similar unboundness in its repetition of stars.
In the forest, the heaven's sensation of infinity comes all the way down to the earth.

There is my example of a pondering that I wrote about in this blog in my own words, but found articulated in this book published in 2007. I now know as a writer, I may not write about something brand new, but I interpret experience through my eyes and use my own language to share the human condition with others.

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