A Difference in Perception

Can you see what I see? When I wrote last week's post about 'Nothingness' I wondered if anyone else would really understand what I was trying to say, or even understand the mental quicksand that I sometimes sink into staring off into that alluring patch of blue sky. Until that sickening moment when I realise that it's the same blue sky I've been staring at for years.

Can we expect others to really understand our perception of events? Earlier today I read an essay by Ana Menendez in which she describes the genesis of her latest novel (memoir?) The Last War, which details the dissolution of a marriage, and was inspired the dissolution of her own marriage. While it is not uncommon that authors draw from real life experience for inspiration, after reading her essay I wondered at how thin the veil between fiction and non-fiction might actually be.

And then I thought about how fiction might be used by an author to explore one's life from the safety of the omnipotent narrator (even if written in first person) which comes with the psychic distance of transferring our thoughts and emotion from mind to keyboard. It is a double-edged sword, the safety of re-living an event, manipulating it perhaps, but viewing it from arm's length so we can savor or dissect or heal.

Which brings me finally to my original point. It is a pleasure to share one's thoughts with a reader. The risk is that what we wish to share is doubly limited by our own ability to convey and our reader's ability to understand. And I wonder if that makes the experience any less useful or cathartic to the writer?


JCK said…
You raise some interesting questions. Something that I've encountered. Writing and being misunderstood. But, I don't know if it makes it any less useful if it still feels so good to write and get it out on paper. Good to ponder.

That memoir sounds interesting.
Larramiefg said…
ANY type of expression helps, even if only to raise a question about it by the reader(s).
Vodka Mom said…
i love your wonderings.....let's have a martini and wonder together.

Great post. This is actually how I write: based on my own experience, my own feelings, my own life. It's my way of working through things.

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