I like the fundamental act of writing. The act is done independently, yet it is a conversation among many-those that have come before and are now gone, though their work remains, those that are writing in the present, and those of many cultures and backgrounds. Writing excludes no one with the ability to read and write. It even includes those who have yet to start, the young, and those who haven't touched earth yet. The conversation is eternal and ongoing.
I have been thinking about writing as a form of characterization. A character itself can be a sort of description of a feeling long lost. You can place a character within a memory and allow them to feel what you feel as you reflect on this memory, but also allow the character to experience things differently and make their own choices, perhaps in ways in which you yourself wish to have experienced them.
For instance, some kind of solitary experience--like my first trip to Europe. I was alone, so my own experience was very solitary and very personal. How many others have felt like me? Are there others with the same thoughts or feelings as myself? With the same values and past experience? If there are, how I would love to find them and reach out to them. Have a conversation with them. What kind of people are they? What are their hopes and dreams? How would a character that I myself have created react to this same experience? How I would love to have a conversation with this fictional character, and many others in the history of literature.
This is the conversation that I am always speaking of. Reaching out to someone in the vast reaches of humanity to share an experience. The best way that I know of is to contribute to this conversation created by writing, and reading about the experiences of others through writing of their own.
In the words of Gilbert Highet:
"These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. "
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