Create Dangerously

Putting your creations out into the world is an exhilaratingly terrifying experience.  Your inner world reveals itself to the people closest to and furthest from you.  The ‘you’ assumes the identify of the words on a page, interpretation left to each individual viewer.  The work immediately morphs into a different product as it is digested by someone else’s senses.

In a recent writing piece, (LadyGunn magazine) I poured my heart out through a story that sang the tears of a bleeding heart.  The process was cathartic and empowering.  The emotions of the experience took a life of their own, existing outside of my body, earning a life on the page, not just in me.  It was freeing to put them there.  It was my dangerous creation.  Dangerously delving into something super personal and sharing it with the world.  A poignant truth.  Is that what makes powerful writing?  At what expense?

Tonight’s author, Edwidge Danticat, chose this striking title “Create Dangerously: The immigrant artist at work” for her non-fiction work on the life of an immigrant living abroad yet telling the story of a nation she left behind.  That story is colored with the light and dark sides of family, friends, a nation under a dictatorship and its injustices.

I love this bold, daring title of Edwidge Danticat’s book.  The Haitian author spoke tonight about bearing witness to the tough, sometimes compromising truths of writing the immigrant life.  For her, and many immigrant artists, this means “leeching” off of the history that is still your own while sheltered from the sweat and tears of it.  It can be a dangerous story to tell. Edwidge took this title from an Albert Camus essay.  An excerpt from it follows.

‘One may long, as I do, for a gentler flame, a respite, a pause for musing. But perhaps there is no other peace for the artist than what he finds in the heat of combat. “Every wall is a door,” Emerson correctly said. Let us not look for the door, and the way out, anywhere but in the wall against which we are living. Instead, let us seek the respite where it is—in the very thick of battle. For in my opinion, and this is where I shall close, it is there. Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps, then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear, amid the uproar of empire and nations, a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope. Some will say that this hope lies in a nation, others, in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history. As a result, there shines forth fleetingly the ever-threatened truth that each and every man, on the foundations of his own sufferings and joys, builds for them all.’

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~ by maureenmoore on October 27, 2010.

4 Responses to “Create Dangerously”

  1. This is a beautiful piece of writing and I thank you for it! Sounds like last night was very powerful, and you make a great link from your own experience of writing to these truths. I’ve thought of your suitcase spread open on the floor many a time. love, L

  2. To quote you from above, ‘”Is that what makes powerful writing? At what expense?”‘ I trust Ms. Danticat’s timely appearance and sharing answered those questions for you AND that any hint of “coincidence” was seriously pondered to be far more than that! Yeah, not just an exclamation point but maybe more of all caps, bold face, red-penned, italicized . . . well, you get my “point!” So, carry on! I know you will!
    P.S. My own opinion is that there IS a line NOT to cross when assessing at what expense one writes (or does anything, for that matter). I think it can involve a number of factors, and ones which can vary from situation to sittuation, but which ultimately are defined by PEACE, and sometimes it defies understanding (the spirit picks it up before the mind!), but all things being equal, is reliable, with no regrets, etc.–priceless. Priceless peace to determine expense . . . hmmmm.

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