IT FEELS GOOD to write again.
It has been just over six years since I last added to this blog (which once boasted a readership of about thirty people, each one beloved, with additional spikes when I linked to something else and readers traced the link) and am finally feeling confident again about writing. The hiatus was mostly caused by a long-term and largely unameliorated depression (and yes, I’m still disabled); but thank G?d, Wellbutrin, Ann and Torah, I seem to have found my way back. During that time, it was difficult for me to focus on anything beyond a sentence — yes, it was that bad — but I somehow always knew I’d take up The Metaphorager again. Or so I hoped, anyway.
The tagline for this blog is “All That’s News To Me, I Print.” It used to be “A Journal of Experiential Holiness and Snack Bar,” which is perhaps closer to the point (there is a lot of Jewish content here, after all), but there’s a raft of other stuff contained in its (so far) 623 posts: recipes, blog critiques, book reviews, cultural commentary, short stories, et al. I had fun writing it, and hope you had/have fun reading it.
I’m not going to predict what I’m going to post here; I posted the last post because it’s the first writing I have done in six years and wanted to share it with a wider variety of people than receive my synagogue’s newsletter (for which I wrote it); I have seen too many people organize events which they called the “First Annual Shindig” and never held another.
All I can say is that it feels good to write again. We’ll see what develops from here.
“THAT’S NOT ONLY BRILLIANT — IT’S ‘why-didn’t-I-think-of-that’ brilliant.”
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YOU MIGHT THINK WHITE FLAGS mean “Surrender,” but if you’re talking about Aaron Fein‘s “White Flags” art piece — all the world’s flags rendered full-size in white cloth and embroidery — you’d better not say so in a public forum, or I’ll reply:
(T)o me the whiteness connotes a sameness — on one level it doesn’t matter that they’re white so much as monocolor. White is also the simplest color — it reflects the entire spectrum, is purely non-differential, and leaves nothing out. All dyed cloth begins and ends in whiteness. (White is also a popular color for bedsheets, which addresses the artist’s point about the welcoming tent of Abraham: rest and comfort at the end of a journey. A journey that begins in difference but whose end is only reached by One.)
Anyway, just a few thoughts. I am completely gobsmacked by the beauty and simplicity (and perhaps sense of humor) about this project. Thank you Tablet for bringing it to us.
The project — which really must be seen to be appreciated; I doubt photos actually convey the sense and scope — is the topic of a nice write-up at http://www.tabletmag.com/arts-and-culture/77571/white-flags/. The artist’s website is http://www.aaronfein.com/.
LET’S MAKE THIS AN EXPLORATION of the landscapes of creativity — how does the creative experience feel to you?
Mentally, I’m all about visualization: perhaps it’s synesthesia, but even smells and sounds have a visual component for me. So I’ve always seen “the creative process” as starting with a curtain across half the universe. Every now and then, the curtain parts just enough to reveal an Idea.
It could be a series of images, even images of words. Now and then it’s a sound. But even the most abstract Idea carries a visual impression of girders and joists, ropes and scrim. Sometimes an Idea will be revealed a piece at a time, with a whole clicking into place almost audibly and palpably. If it’s long, like a story, it feels like a rope uncoiling from the other side of the curtain — a line which must not be allowed to grow slack.
Sometimes an Idea links up with something inside the rest of the universe. Other times it just sits there, gleaming, faintly pulsing, daring me to capture it in words on a screen or a sketch in a notebook. (If I don’t, it can fade within minutes.)
So let’s make this an exploration of the sense-scapes of creativity. How does the creative experience feel to you?
“BUILDING A BETTER MOUSETRAP IS one thing. Testing it is something else.”
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HOW MUCH CAN YOU CHANGE something before it no longer resembles the original — yet still call it by the same name?
- Definition: “1 chiefly British : a large heavy truck 2 : a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path”
- Used in a sentence: “My sister’s new baby is a juggernaut of cuteness.”
- Why: Because Old Hindi words sound so innately cool.
METAL = ROCKS + FIRE / SLAG.
WRITING = WORDS x TIME / TALENT.
LOVE = PEOPLE – EGO x ACTION.
COOKING = INGREDIENTS + TASTE x EXPERIENCE.
TEACHING = THOUGHT1 + THOUGHT2 x EXPERTISE / TOPIC.
FILM = IMAGES + SOUND x IMAGINATION
MUSIC = RHYTHM + MELODY x SOUL
ART = INTENTION + MATERIAL + ACTION
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF any story is the point at which it’s attached to the reader.
ONCE UPON A TIME, BEFORE minorities realized they were being patronized by pop-cultural stereotypes, there was a literary MacGuffin known as a “tar-baby.” This item featured highly in the Joel Chandler Harris story “Br’er Rabbit and the Tar-Baby,” where one of the funny animals makes a baby out of tar to trick his enemy into arguing with it, striking it, and finally being englobed by it. A fine family tale enjoyed by generations.
Here’s where history trumps metaphor. And why I need your help.
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OUR NEW MOTTO IS:
“All That’s News To Me, I Print.”
(New York Times-inspired.)
Prosatio Silban in his galleywagon / Illo (c) 2008 Alana Dill, http://youbecomeart.com
IT ALL STARTED IN 2005, when I decided to write fantasy tales. Or maybe 1995, when I was bored with the between-task tedium of printer’s work. (Of course, it really started in 1977, because that was the year I discovered D&D
To our game group, a couple of dozen people in Northern California’s Diablo Valley playing hundreds of five-or-six-player sessions between 1978 and 1983, “Dungeons and Dragons” was not yet an accepted rite of geek passage, a million-dollar industry, or a major cultural influence. In those days it was barely known outside SFnal convention circles or college campii; I learned of it through a fan friend who was heavily involved with legendary game-guru David Hargrave‘s Arduin campaign — “campaign” being the term for an ongoing adventure milieu, a created world like (and often modeled on) Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Lewis’ Narnia, or Leiber’s Lankhmar.
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