Sunday, October 11, 2009
Frames of Reference
Recently, I joined a writers’ group. People come together once a week and read excerpts from their writing. I’m awestruck by the way they handle the English language. It’s an entire symphony of overtones and undertones, shades of color and subtle twists of meaning.
Different personalities reveal themselves not only in their writing, but also in their critique. Some people seem to need more information than others in order to tune in to a scene.
Who is this character, where is this happening? Knowing that it is happening in a town nearby makes all the difference to them. To me, the town nearby is no more than a location on the map.
My tolerance of ambiguity is high. I have learnt to accept everything as given. I listen, I ”feel it out,” and if it doesn’t make sense, it’s probably my own fault, at least to begin with. The worst mistakes are those you don’t even know you are making.
It is the way you live in an unfamiliar environment: a new job, a new neighborhood, a different culture. You try to fill information with meaning, and gradually find solid ground under your feet.