Thursday, May 12, 2011

Now that I'm feeling less ill, I'm also feeling more embarrassed by yesterday's rant. I do try to cultivate patience, though Tea Party politicians, moronic education policies, and stupid poetry pronouncements can easily fray it. The thing is: when the subject is writing as an art, I am as close to religious fervor as I will ever get--except possibly when I'm listening to a great musical performance. But I'm a practitioner of the writing arts whereas I'm merely a dabbler in the musical arts, so my commitment to writing is both more complex and more straightforward. I believe in the power of writing, not as a route to happiness and contentment . . . no, not that, not that by any means . . . but as my own particular way of trying to figure out what it means to be human. "Trying to figure out" is as close as anyone can ever get, I suspect; so it is the work, not the product or the public success of the product, that must be most important to the creator. Yet I think for a piece of writing to be art, even an imperfect form of art, it must trigger a "what it means to be human" reaction in the reader--not necessarily the identical reaction that the artist experienced, but surely one that has analogous power.

What does this power have to do with arguments about jargon or graduate credits? Nothing, nothing, nothing. Argh.

Still, my crankiness doesn't help anything either, so I will attempt to squelch it. And I do appreciate all of your affectionate comments on yesterday's post. At the very least, they remind me--and maybe remind you too--that being starry-eyed and idealistic is also a way of trying to figure out what it means to be who and what we are.


Beverly Diehl said...

Hi Dawn - sister blogger here from SheWrites stopping by.

Head colds make me cranky too, and I have lingering cough from the end of MARCH still hanging with me. Not happy about it - nor about Blogger going down yesterday/today. I am hoping they retrieve the post I'd cached for this Saturday, but... Best of luck with all you're looking to get published.

Dawn Potter said...

Thanks, Beverly-- hope you feel better soon.