Men occasionally stumble over truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”
I’ve stumbled upon something recently.
I’m awakening to an idea of words and sentences and paragraphs and commas as art. I used to not believe this. I used to think that Artists are only painters with charcoal smudges on their cheeks and perfect images in their minds. Artists were dancers, musicians, people who wow us with instant talent, with their ability to walk onto a stage or into a room and make us feel something.
Writers just say things, I thought. Occasionally they say beautiful things, but grocery lists, news articles, terrible Young Adult novels and nasty political columns are all writing. Writing, I long believed, was important, but only for its communication value, not for its beauty.
But I’ve stumbled upon a new definition for writers. I realized it this weekend for the first time consciously, but I think it’s been arousing itself in me for some time. Writers, although we’re largely a pessimistic, sensible-shoed, cynical bunch, are still Artists. Perhaps it’s because we tend to be introverted thinkers that our portrayals of beauty take multiple edits and lonely evenings to awaken. Perhaps somewhere in the (often painful) craft of writing lies the cause of its beauty.
It’s not flashy, certainly. It doesn’t get applause or pack opera-houses or cause little kids to beg their moms for shiny new instruments. It likely won’t get you laid, get you inked or cause you to do much more than sigh with contentment and take another sip of your genteel adult beverage or sedate cup of tea.
But it’s still art. It’s art that points us to truth, and, rather than causing us to stumble, works its way into our shoes like a little pebble or bit of road-rock, to sit beneath our heel and bother us with its tenacious view of the world.
I want to write things that are truthful art. I want to give hope, to force a unique perspective, to not let my reader give up or give in to an easy answer. I want to serve truth that inspires and calls us out, makes us rock back on our heels and take a closer look at what we thought was just a dusty rock in our way or an annoying pebble in our shoe.
I don’t want to hurry on as if nothing happened.
I don’t want to let my reader do so, either.