I watched a documentary, on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnF6Wej3YO8&t=117s), recently about the origins of romance in Britain. While I put this on as a background to chores I was completing, I found the topic interesting, especially where it was related to books, novels, to the story (ie. pre 1920ish). From their perspective, society learned about romantic love through the stories they read en masse.
It’s not the first time I’ve thought about or written about the power of the story but it was an interesting new take on it. If we can change society (at whatever pace), that’s a heavy weight to bear. I am definitely not suggesting that I can or that anyone else will. But art does have an influence. I don’t see it as a responsibility or a duty though. Perhaps more of an opportunity. Charles de Lint said “all endeavour is art when rendered with conviction” (1996/1999). We can make artistic gestures out of our everyday (consider the Japanese tea ceremony versus pouring a cup of tea). So this is not just for people who consider themselves artists, but maybe for everyone to be aware when we create. Everything we put out there is a manifestation of ourselves, of our lives and of the material we take in. Sometimes I refer to taking in too much as ‘over stimulation’ and that I need to take time to assimilate it (just how I work). In a way, it’s an awareness of our every action in the present.
Well, that went down a rabbit hole, now didn’t it? Hopefully you’re all still with me here.
I want to make sure that I continue to create. Not just because I don’t believe I have a say in the matter. But perhaps because I want to. Because I want to share the stories with you. I think, deep down under my neurotic self-doubt, that they’re worth reading. If I can get caught up during editing and wonder what will happen next, maybe I can keep your attention for a while. Maybe until the end of the story…
If you’re in the Ottawa area, I will have a table at the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair (http://smallpressbookfair.blogspot.ca) on November 25. If you’re in the area, please drop by. There will be a good crowd of publishers, authors and bookmakers to meet. Plus, admission is free!