More Morning Reading . . .
Brevity magazine publishes, besides "concise, literary nonfiction," a number of brief essays on the craft of writing. I liked what Terry Tempest Williams had to say in "On Writing as an Act of Living." I'll probably share this interview with my ENG 101 students, who have to complete a service learning project during the semester. Also, bits of it resonate with the part of me that's still determined to write the "Poetry of Witness" essay, like this:
Story bypasses rhetoric and pierces the heart. To tell a story is to create an action in the mind of the listener or reader. It is the same with bearing witness — be it watching a community of prairie dogs or witnessing the miles and miles of swirling oil from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. To bear witness is not a passive act, but an act of conscience and consequence that has the power to alter our collective consciousness. As writers, we are often changed by the story we are telling through empathy. We become part of the story by being present. Our challenge as writers, storytellers, is to create this kind of engagement with our readers. We want them to not only see the story we are telling but most importantly, to feel it. Writing is an act of faith that can lead to action if we maintain our focus and integrity through language, fact, and imagery.
. . . so I guess this is my way of bookmarking the article, so I can return to it.
I don't quite understand the extent to Williams' struggle with "silence" as conveyed through the interview, but it does make me curious to read her latest book, which has the lovely, evocative title of When Women Were Birds.
And now I must grade essay outlines and prepare for the teaching-day. My morning writing time was really my morning reading time, but that's okay. They're really one and the same, really, apart from the fact that I don't have a physical product to show from the reading (besides this post, of course). At least the rusty little wheels in my head are turning, and making some noise.