You have entered the realm of a writer.

Welcome to A Writer's Landscape!

You have entered the realm of my mind where words play with the fabric of our existence. This is the map of my imagination: the very foundations of inspiration, musing, and thought splayed for your wandering eyes. Dive deep into the tides of these forces and experience my reality, my fantasy, my world; and if you should be so inclined, share your words with this land.

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Serious Face of Inspiration

The air was mischievous as we waited in mock silence for the presentation to begin. Boys sprinkled themselves far and wide, leaving space to conjure some semblance of individuality, separation, pride. Girls huddled together in sets of two or three, conversing in quiet tones about whether the snow was to fall or what Eula Biss was going to read from. Few people came in groups and laughed about their harrowing day at school where teachers raked their minds and marked wretched disillusionment on their souls. Conjured food beckoned to the hungry with a casual display of crackers, cheese, grapes and coffee. How very French of the organizers. Others didn’t notice as they vehemently grabbed for what morsels drew saliva from their gums. All the while, center stage remained untouched by a speaker.

I watched. I listened. I heard what the mass seemed incapable of touching. Perhaps it’s because this was my first time, my virginity palpable through my excitement, but there was a sense of relaxed tension filtered through my film of anticipation for Eula Biss to appear magically before us. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wanted to hear something profound, moving, influencing -- something extra-ordinary, sublime, and ignorable to shift me out of my delicate balance in life. I knew I was expecting too much of someone I didn’t know, had never seen or met, and probably would never see again after this night.

Finally, a man stood at the podium, that offset pillar of import fabricated of artificial wood and papery finish. His intro was poignant and made me feel closer to the room. Words echoed playfully, like childhood friends dancing in the rain of a bright, sunny day where the clouds mystically trickle miles away from their shadows. I couldn’t help but smile at his own fascination and unbelievable acceptance of the accomplishments of his long-time friend, Eula Biss. Part of me felt a dream open its eyes, peaking out at a tale unfolding, a history colored with possibility. I was captivated, as I had been the first time I read Catherine Asaro’s first novel, Primary Inversion. Here was a real person, a tangible entity to admire, to aspire to become, to engage in mental playgrounds because she is real.

Then Eula Biss took her spot, comfortably with an edge of nervousness. I can see in her shoulders the worry. I can feel her downcast eyes doubting whether her new audience would appreciate what she was about to read, about to share, about to express: intimate words drawn like piercings through cartilage and scar tissue in a blissful catharsis of passion. Words ushered forward thoughts of diligent introspection toward race, a subject I thought well out of her means and yet poignantly relevant in such a homogenized society. Though she spoke of essays and structured, researched, studied prose, her speech carried like poetry telling tales of carnivorous moments tearing down the safety locked within her mind --

And her point was made about fear and constructs; but I felt she missed a schema running through her language. All her experienced plagues, whether of another era or simply months ago with her neighbor on a beautiful summer day, centered around communication, played with the sense of language, juxtaposed images with words to invoke the necessary realization of race issues manufactured through our daily speech patterns. Perhaps she dives deeper into this possibility in other portions of her poetic essays, but it became startlingly clear when she equated lynching to telephone poles. Though her discourse throttled my perception, it drove into me the beauty of time well spent.

Time ticked on to a detrimental moment when the pages of her life closed and came to rest upon the podium. The aforementioned man rose and craned his neck toward the audience once more, declaring that Eula Biss would be accepting questions as time permitted. I had none for her, but the islands of patient awe divulged their timid inquiries with relish. That’s when her words of wisdom truly sank in. They weren’t about race, or her family, or her trials at becoming a published poet. She said, which had been echoed prior to this moment, “You have to take yourself seriously as a writer.”

My amazement crumpled my doubts. Something snapped in my head. Snow began to fall outside, unbeknown to the dimmed room. Moments before the reading, I was struggling through astrophysical equations of spacial relation between majestic gods and the illumination they provide for the nights and imagination. Moments before the reading, I was stressing about my physics homework and the supposedly simple concepts of Newtonian physics. Moments before the reading, I was pouring over calculus integrals determining the area of a graph as it spins around a certain axis bound by equations of meaningless relationships. I was taking myself so seriously... as an Astrophysicist.

But I’m a writer, and Eula Biss just told me a secret I had kept away from myself. I’m a writer. Now, I’m a serious writer, and seriously considering serious changes to ensure this serious realization won’t be wasted in moments of stressful attempts at a separate passion.

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