Thoughts about writing

Writing can be constricting and suffocating. The words we share, used against us. The ideas we create, later the gun holding us at gunpoint. As such, we [society] don’t share. We stay in our lane. This makes art as a means of expression so valuable. Artists put tool to paper and liberate us. Perhaps unselfishly or perhaps as an act of liberating themselves.

They move us from confused at the hands of injustice to broiling flames from within, they share their accounts of living in their body through characters and people in books and novels, they dream up characters to teach us lessons and grow us greater than we were before we opened the book or stared into the painting or studied the sculpture or marveled into the sky.

I wonder what it’s like to create things that move people that way. I wonder what it’s like to breathe life into text. I imagine it being like throwing water on a sleeping person–awakening them with intensity, shaking up their sleeping soul.

Writing can be a powerful tool to awaken the spirit of people and communities. Hitler recognized that, halting the free press as immediately as he was granted emergency powers as Chancellor in Germany.

Many have awoken me with their writing The AlchemistAmericanahInvictus, If, The Miseducation of a Negro, Wings on Fire, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, The Namesake.

Seeing friends write and engaging with friends who create help me consider it is possible to do the same. I wonder what it takes to get there. To product.

Can writing and creating be the act of liberation?

Is it the result of liberation itself?

Could it be both? Or neither? 


If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
-excerpt of IF, Rudyard Kipling
I think we’ll see from this election and the White Nationalist Rise that has accompanied it, a new generation of artists and creators. I hope to discover myself in that and play a role in awaking people– kids like me who come from where I come from and others from worlds apart. To liberate spirits and perhaps my own in discovering the difference we can make in the lives of people through text.

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