Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's Face It

Reality often imitates art, particularly when it imposes subtext, the dialectic of simultaneous engagement upon us, just as it confronts characters with the need to say one thing while feeling its opposite. Writers join their brother and sister artists in the frequent minefield the creative workplace has become, meeting head on a dialectic rarely spoken about, one that presents itself as a noun and a verb.


Face.

The writer faces a work session having come from life outside, which is to say Reality; now comes the need to put on the dramatic faces associated with characters--what they want and feel as opposed to what they say and do.

It is no wonder the creator is by degrees seen as a lonely, beset, cranky, notional individual; you sometimes think of the writer as a psychotherapist or analyst, spending hours listening with attention and understanding if not sympathy to individuals who are conceived in stress and problem and unfulfilled desire, with raging needs, ambition as rampant as kudzu in a Southern hillside. It is no wonder that when writers of advanced technique gather socially, there is at first empathy, then sympathy, then the flare of frustration as each moves toward his own vision of what Reality means. Thus the concept of the artistic creator as control freak. No wonder it sometimes becomes a shock or disappointment to meet one's artistic heroes. Even less wonder you find yourself at times, in a midst of roistering, cheerful writers, sensing the potential for disconnect. No wonder writers often feud.

Face as the noun represents the attitude you put forth in order to get into the activity--reading, writing, feeling, even some thinking--you need to perform in order to get something down on your Moleskine and/or your computer screen, while you face as the verb and try to come to terms with the conditions and feelings that make up your reality. It is not by any means that individuals other than writers have any less a need to engage this conversation with The Cosmic Forces, or that they are any more daunting for you because of the choices you have made, rather it is that you have to cope--face--with your own faces and those of the individuals you would bring somehow into the world.



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