Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fictional Justice

When I finally set to work in assembling stored instances, long-marinaded in the pools of imagination, I must ask my writer’s mind to do what it does best: connect. This is the flourish; the magician’s cape swirling in anticipation of some great & promised trick; it is why I chose to write.

In regular life, imagination can only assist in assumption, in wishful thinking. On paper, it builds kingdoms & then fills them with calculated intrigue.

When I lose the self-control which makes me capable of patience, the connections made by the powers of imagination become reckless & self-gratifying. I demand a coherence from the contents of an addled mind that is denied by an unjust world. Time & again, I demand imagination level a playing field so that chances denied by actual circumstance are viable.

Conversely, I yearn to punish the wicked & invent villains just to dispose of them triumphantly. When my imagination is permitted to exercise its wits in this type of mental grandstanding, I know that I am caught in a trap which is the end of originality. Cliché smothers that spark of the unique & I am afraid to see where the story will go without this suspending authority.

I write only to redeem.

These connections the imagination creates in composing a story are tentative. Sometimes, I must be cautious, as a scientist who works in a laboratory will volatile chemicals is required to be. Move this here, & just see what happens; shunt this against that & hope for a bridge. The work is slow, tedious & a world away from the exhilaration I love to experience.

When guided by the instinct of chance, when things shore up so beautifully, I feel as though I could never do anything else.

{Artwork by Nikki Rosato}