Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Songs, Cycles and Surfing

I heard a new song today, and it propelled my mind's eye into unexplored dimensions.  I had a very vivid vision of a vast machine where people were the cogs and gears (Artist=Royksopp, Song=The Fear).  This piece of music transported me to "another place".  That is the highest goal of art I think.  Great artists can probably exercise control over the nature of the experience that the listener/reader of their art has.  In my writing world, I'll just be happy if I can get the reader "there".  Or maybe I should say I'll be happy if I can get the reader somewhere other than "here".  I'll have to have faith that their experience of "there" will have some relationship with what I am imagining when I write.

But lately, I've not been so sure that will be true.  At times I fall into a kind of despair that people aren't connecting with my stories the way that I hope they will.  But in my more rational moments, I think the reality of the connection is more beautiful and wonderous than I could hope to imagine--or to control.

I think it's like the ending of Blade Runner when Roy Batty is delivering his monologue:  "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. ... Time to die."  The author "dies" when they complete their manuscript.  The white dove flies off into an uncertain darkness--gone to seek out new nests: alone, naked, shorn of its former body--the cord that once tethered it to the author and allowed it to grow and evolve being forever cut.  Like all things in life it is a cycle of birth and death.  The death of a story's connection to the author begins a life of connection with readers.  Soon that connection with readers may pass as well.  Then it's time for the line I omitted from Roy Batty's monologue: "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."

Oh well.  It's a melancholy thought to think that your writing may end up as nothing more than some forgotten bytes on a descendent's hard drive or an archaic Amazon.com backup.  But that's life: the cycle of birth and death.  Lest these melancholy thoughts become too cumbersome, it becomes time to queue up some Surf Music: the universal cure for emo outbursts.  My recommendation is the album "Surf Drums" by The Lively Ones.  I think it's the most life affirming music I have in my collection.

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