Saturday, November 26, 2016

O for a muse to inspire!

 You've heard the joke:  If you're in a group being chased by a bear, you only need to not be the slowest runner. A similarly negative witticism was on a bumper sticker I saw earlier this year; it essentially said:  " . . .  if I can't be skinny, at least let my friends be fat."

Don't ask me why negative humor seems to come more naturally than positive humor (if you have any encouraging jokes, please share them with me), or why comparative goodness should have much moral traction (share your thoughts with me there, too).

I would urge you in writing to take the high road without being on a high horse about it.

A  friend of mine, the poet-activist Emma Lou Thayne (I did nothing to deserve her friendship; she was just a generous spirit who gifted me with her friendship), aspired  "to make the light" believable; in other words, to write about  affirming things in a way that is full of integrity and can be accepted by believers and skeptics alike because it rings true and doesn't resort to stock phrases and sappiness.

It's hard.  It's a high goal to write to affirm.  Hide your aspirations if you must to guard them against those who would mock you, pity you, or hold them against you if you failed, and as William Zinsser would urge, "write as well as you can."


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