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Daily Obstruction: In Medias Res

11 Apr

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In Medias Res

 

“When you write a novel, do you start with a concept or a character?” he asked.

“Sometimes concepts become characters, other times characters exemplify concepts,” I said.

“Which am I?” he demanded of me.

“That depends,” I said.

“On what?” he asked with both skepticism and fear in his voice.

“On where this story began – with a concept or a character.”

“Only you can tell me that,” he said, impudently, folding his arms.

“That may be true, or. . .”

“Or what?”

“Or, maybe there is no beginning to this story.  Maybe you just came into existence.  Don’t you remember?”

“Only if you give me such a memory.”

“Well, let me ask you this: What does it matter to you?”

“What does what matter to me?”

“What does it matter whether you began as a concept or as a character?”

He pondered for a moment and then spoke slowly, “I don’t know that it makes a difference, but I’d prefer to know one way or the other.  I suppose I’d feel less. . . real. . . as a concept.”

“But by now you’d be a character.  A real character.”

“Maybe,” he said, “but only if you’re good at your craft.  Otherwise, I’m just a strawman, a stand-in, a ringer for something more ethereal.”

“Well, I can tell you, unequivocally, now you are either a full-blown character or a concept with personality.  In either case, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two.”

“Let me ask you this. . .”

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Daily Obstruction: Going for the Gold Watch?

6 Apr

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Going for the Gold Watch?

 

“I have been doing such-and-such for over twenty years.”  Most people, when they hear words to that effect, interpret them as a virtue: consistency, dependability, reliability, dedication, etc.  I hear a lack of imagination, and stagnation due to fear, comfort, and complacency.  But what it really comes down to, I suppose, is what “such-and-such” is and how you do it.

Daily Obstruction: Transformations

31 Mar

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Transformations

 

Whether it be a diamond, a pearl, or a glass bead, in each case something dross or mundane was turned into something beautiful and prized.  Sometimes this happens naturally, sometimes through culture, sometimes by being put through the caldron.

Daily Obstruction: Kenosis

11 Mar

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Kenosis

 

All your demons are really angels prompting you to relinquish and let go.

Daily Obstruction: Convolutions

8 Mar

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Convolutions

 

Are the tangled webs we weave cages or cocoons?