Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy


This is something to think about long and hard, my droogies.

Miracles -- Writer's Poke #229

I've never witnessed a miracle, and I bet you haven't, either.

Miracle is one of those terms we sometimes use rather loosely. We talk, for instance, about the "miracle of birth." Certainly the birth of a child can fill us with wonder, which relates to the Latin origin of the term, but based on the current world population, I'm not sure that childbirth can by any means qualify as extraordinary.

Is experiencing the universe an extraordinary event? Now I can go along with that, but I like my miracles to be more personal, more specific. You know, like the Catholic church's requirement that a person perform three miracles to be eligible for sainthood. In that case, the mere fact that the universe happens to exist would then no longer qualify as a miracle. Experiencing natural existence isn't enough.

A miracle would be more like David Copperfield making the Empire State Building disappear, or Jesus feeding the masses with a few fish and loaves of bread. And that kind of stuff ain't miraculous; it's just smoke and mirrors.

Have you experienced a miracle?

"It's not that I don't believe in miracles, but I never quite believe that they're real." -- Mariel Hemingway

Monday, June 1, 2009

Memory and Imagination -- Writer's Poke #228

Is it possible not to have anything worth writing about?

Two of the main tools all writers have at their disposal are memory and imagination. So how does one imagine? How does one remember? Is the process the same? Are memories real? Are images created solely in the mind any less real?

Perhaps memories are an old person's game. In theory, the older you are, the more memories you should have accumulated. But do memories stay true, or do they cross over into the realm of imagination? I think I know what I was like thirty years ago, for example, but do I really? Can I trust my memory? Has my imagination polluted what I know?

Some people claim not to have much of an imagination. Perhaps these people have never taken the time to sit, meditate, and listen. Everyone imagines, just as everyone dreams. Some are simply more aware and in tune.

Which do you rely on most: memory or imagination?

"I shut my eyes in order to see." -- Paul Gauguin