Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Daily Courage to Write

Whosoever can drive a car can manage any of the risks that art and self-expression involve.

Just think about what's involved in driving, the constant risk, and cars in the opposing lane passing at high speeds only a few feet away. And yet we're unworried enough to talk on the phone, adjust the heat and the radio, and admire the scenery, while we're hurtling along.

I wouldn't think of handling a chain saw--a machine like that? with a sharp blade?--I'm not good at machinery, much too dangerous. But piloting my own speed craft--that I can do in the dark.

What all this signifies to me is that it's a matter of growing accustomed to the practice and the risk. What we do every day --writing, for example--ceases to feel so monumental. The resulting relaxation is good for the imagination, the productivity, and the pleasure in the process.

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billie said...

You're so right - if we can drive a car, we can do most anything. It's such a great example that all of us can relate to - I do have moments when blasting down US 1 when I realize how fast I'm going and that a deer running across the highway would be... disastrous.

Peggy Payne said...

Which makes me think of one other car/courage lesson: not all wrecks are disastrous. It's possible to screw up or have a bit of bad luck and have it just be a time-waster. I passed a complex fender-bender on Hwy 64 this morning, and all involved were safely standing around talking on their cell phones. I have myself been in a deer collision without getting hurt.

If we can survive those kinds of wrecks, we can sure get past a mistake on the page.

billie said...

Funny - I was thinking more about the deer than myself! But you're right, many accidents in cars are "disastrous" in other (and less significant) ways than physical injury.

Peggy Payne said...

I was thinking in human-centric (Peggy-centric) terms entirely, Billie. Your approach is far more generous.