Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Drawing water from the well



Countless tributaries lead to the oceans. Some are raging rivers, others minor trickles. There are streams that lead to tranquil, mountain lakes. There are rapids that rip through canyons and roar into deltas. Cold, clear snow run off. The muddy, mighty Mississippi.

Would you say that any of these contribute more or less to the water level of the oceans?

Dostoevsky
Tolstoy
Shakespeare
Poe
Austin

L'Engle
Owen
Dekker
King
Rowling

These are the oceans, both past and present. These are the writers to which we turn when we need inspiration. When we feel our language is flailing in the aftermath of a tsunami of slang, we can pick of their tattered covers and rest in the assurance of their eloquence.

We elevate them.
We emulate them.
We feel inferior.

And yet...

We as writers are tributaries to their oceans. The ocean is a great body. The water is what fills it. The great body of the written word is fathomless. The authors who fill it churn, rise and fall with the tides. Into this body flows the streams, the rivers, the trickles that make up the newly published, the soon to be agented, the rejected hopeful.

Not only do we contribute, but we draw water from this vast oceanic well. We drink deeply from it, letting it run over our teeth, parched lips and wounded souls. The words and stories from the pens of the masters helps revive our faith in our calling and their truth cheers us onward.

Ever on.

Even in the face of writer's block, lost voices, and rejections.

Write on, my fellow trickles, write on!

1 comment:

  1. I love this analogy! I definitely feel like a tributary sometimes.

    ReplyDelete

Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.

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