Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Write Into the Wild

Wilderness is not an extravagance or a luxury, it is a place of original memory where we can witness and reflect on how the world is held together by natural laws.
                                                      --Terry Tempest Williams

Writing about the natural world requires awareness and observation of interconnections. Often founded in science, the focus always returns to the writer's personal observations. The challenge of the writer involves bringing the reader into that world. Nature writing evokes all the senses and delves into the possibilities regardless of the tragedies in the world.

This writing puts hope, faith and possibility into words. Rebecca Solnit in, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, quotes from the pre-Socratic philosopher Meno, "How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?" 

The unknown territory always looms. The idea or the story lurks somewhere in the desert, on the prairie, high on a mountain or in the backyard of our minds.

The birth of a poppy brings awareness to life.

How do we move into those areas of wildness and live at the edges of the mysterious?  In what ways do we extend the boundaries of the self? Creativity and the resulting writing require the permission to be lost. 

Solnit explains, "One does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable through geography." She continues, "That thing the nature of which is totally unknown is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost."

Annie Dillard advises - keep your "shutter" open.

Ask nature a question and write about it. During your writing process take risks. 

You will discover areas of your writing and yourself never quite experienced before.

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