a good book
Last night I picked up my copy of Writing Down The Bones
, by Natalie Goldberg.I hadn't read it for while, and it's worth more than one time through. Though it was written twenty years ago it doesn't seem dated--aside from the fact that Natalie is always writing on paper with pen in cafes (I'd bet anything she uses her laptop nowadays.)It also seems as relevant to artists as to writers, and perhaps to many other disciplines also. She talks a lot about the creative process, how to regard one's work, and how to keep open to new experience. I will quote just one little gem. I mentally substitute "Painting" for "Writing" and "viewer" for "reader" etc. in this one:Writing is not psychology. We don't talk "about" feelings. Instead the writer feels and through her words awakens those feelings in the reader.
This is typical of the rather simple-at-first-glance truths in the book. The relationship between the one who creates and the one who reacts to the creation can seem complex, if the one who is creating strives to dictate a particular meaning to the audience. Natalie seems to be saying that it is the creator's role to experience and express, and if this is done well, it is enough. The meaning will be unique to each person who encounters the work, and will be experienced by that person as self discovery or personal insight.