Do you ever read something and ask yourself: “How does that woman think?” or “What’s gone on in his life that he can write that?”
I find myself doing it more and more these days. In fact instead of considering that I’m increasing my knowledge I continually find myself realising how small my knowledge is which I’m thinking is a good place to be. Keeps me humble and keeps my mind open which make me a richer person. Here have a Wic quote before it goes viral:
An open mind is a treasure trove waiting to be filled. Plunder the world and fill it wisely.
Not bad for a Sunday morning, ehh?
Back to the original questions. I guess I started thinking like this as I listened to music. The worlds full of song writers who will sell you a love song, but, ever so often along comes a writer who is just not on that road. Back in the day, when Wic wore shorts (I know, he still does if there’s any chance of a sunbeam!), I listened to Dylan and Springsteen and, of course, Bowie and I was blown away by what they wrote. Here, here’s a line or two from Bruce:
Some brimstone baritoneBlinded by the light
Anticyclone rolling stone
Preacher from the east
Says, “Dethrone the Dictaphone
Hit it in its funny bone
That’s where they expect it least.”
Now you tell me that’s not some crazy use of words. And I ask again, what goes through a person’s head to enable them to create those sort of lines? And then Bob was giving us All Along the Watchtower and David wanted us all to be Heroes telling us:
I, I wish you could swimHeroes
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day
The more I leaned into the music the more I found. People who just saw the world in ways I didn’t in that moment. But their view was exciting and interesting and inviting and made me think how limited I had become in my views. Begin the pathway to a more open mind.
Then there were books I read and once again I stumbled on men and women who just saw life differently. OK, so we all move out into the world based on our own experience of life to this point but I had no context for some of the things I read. I’ve mentioned my love of D H Lawrence before and when I first read him I considered I had found something rich, as he captured the feelings and behaviours of people and brought together words I’d have not dared consider in those situations.
Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.
We don’t exist unless we are deeply and sensually in touch with that which can be touched but not known.D H Lawrence
I could go on quoting writers. James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Roald Dahl (yes I read Roald, especially with children, like myself, who are equipped to understand what he’s telling us), Jack Kerouac, Margaret Atwood, John Steinbeck, the list goes on and maybe no two write their view of the world in the same way. And again I ponder and muse, asking myself: “What makes them see life like that? What has happened to them to open those doors? What do they do to bring such words and thoughts together?”
And I know I’ll never have their experiences, live their lives, be touched in the same way by life in all it’s many colours or carry the scars that life has cut into their souls. But here’s the thing, and this is the take away for this week, we all carry scars because life is, at times, a cruel experience. And we all hold memories, like a book with the pages tattered at the corners, of happy and beautiful times. These form the deep well from which we interpret life and find meaning. It is from this well that those I’ve mentioned find their inspiration but to do so they have to dare to draw water, to risk tarnishing a precious memory or reliving an unhealed pain. They have to realise that they will not be understood by many, even seen as crazy by those who have no context to hear the words, who do not understand that “we can be Heroes, just for a day”.
I understand that. I think you do. So go forth and fill your “treasure trove”. Choose from the rich picking of life. Read widely, listen to music and hear the words. TV? Not so sure about that. It is so limited, don’t you find and I’m thinking the treasure lays on the fringes, in the rarified air. Not down where the masses seek meaning. Note your experiences, the good and the bad, and record how they make you feel, how you responded to them, what it was like as you left them behind. Keep the memories for another day. Go places and take time to absorb the vista, to understand it.
Then you’ll have words to write and things to say that are truly yours. Maybe someone will listen and ask: “What’s gone before, in her life?” Maybe someone will find inspiration in what you say. Even now, your experience and learning to this point gives you a voice that can sing solo if you tell others from your perspective.
I’ve written too much for a Monday so I’ll leave you to “go plunder the world” in the week ahead because every moment will add to your vocabulary. And I didn’t even mention the poets. Don’t get me started on the poets!
Yours, writing books instead of Musings,