Sorry for the hiatus. I did the series on recurring themes upon request, and I suppose if more comes to mind I’ll bring them up. As it is, like I’ve said, I don’t have a true beef with the CBA world because I’m not sure I think about it much – especially as a latecomer. And at the moment, I’m behind on reading everyone else’s articles (at least three behind), and I haven’t been doing much internet reading, so I really don’t know of anything “current” to post about. And, while, yes, some things irritate me, I don’t think they’re maladies limited to CBA, or even to Christians.
Some things are simply a matter of this fallen world in which we live.
The marred creation ruled by a marred imago dei.
A broken creation running from its Creator.
Bienvenidos a la vida.
I’m admittedly not a Pollyanna type. I’m not a cynic, either. My tendency, more or less, is to simply try not to fall too quickly in making a judgment call. Call that what you will. I’ve no delusions of granduer, and the Golden Age of Humanity was, frankly, the Garden, and it shall pale in comparison to what’s been promised to us. So I don’t think us all angels, nor the monsters some become. So whatever you’ve taken from these musings of mine, remember that.
But I’m going to borrow a bit from the “Love Thy Reader” theme, I think.
Writers do many things with life. For us, life itself is our ball of clay to shape on the wheel. We can retool, refine, destroy, or refinish what’s given to us. This is why the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword” exists. If the tongue is a wildfire, then the pen is a branding iron. We can paint heroes as villains and villains as heroes. We can paint light as dark an dark as light. Shades of gray or technicolor.
That’s why you don’t anger writers. Our ways are strange and we are cold in anger.
One thing that’s always been a matter of principle for me is that I refuse to insert real people – whether I love them or despise them – into my stories. I guess part of it’s my confidentiality peeve. That which is said in confidence, stays in confidence. You know? So one thing I’ve always struggled with is the idea that we “write what we know.”
Don’t take this beyond what I mean by it. Emotional recall is one thing. The ability to remember particulars or include particular skills and knowledge is another.
But sometimes the most memorable things Life throws at you are the very things you shouldn’t be airing in public. While there may be little in the way of a secular/sacred divide, there’s much to be said about what’s appropriate and what isn’t.
And, for me, it’s not the ability to do an emotional recall or throw in a funny joke, or some friend’s (or my) stupid prank. My own foolishness is mine to enshrine.
But can I really, in good conscience, take a person’s deepest grief, shame, or folly, and forever enshrine it on the page, all in the name of some “life lesson” theme in a book? Even if the ending is spectacular, a redemption tale of grandeur, would it ever be good, dragging up and revisiting every detail, the good, the bad, the ugly, and taking someone’s heartache for my personal gain?
I know people write biographies. I know some who write novelized accounts of true events. But as for myself, I’m not sure I could do it. I suppose if I had the blessing of those involved, perhaps. But I’m not sure, in the end, I could allow anyone else to read it.
So my question for you, dear reader, what do you think? Is there ever a time to conceal a matter? Is it ever appropriate to disclose those deeper scourges of Life, and, if so, what would be appropriate?