Wednesday, March 7, 2012

about dragons and possibilities

ursula le guin has written millions of words on paper, on a computer, maybe on a laptop, arranging them in sentences and paragraphs that have captivated millions of readers across nations and decades.
from children's books to poetry to critical essays to fantasy novels, ursula le guin is prolific and imaginative, dreaming up characters and circumstances far beyond what I can ever imagine myself doing. she is wise, witty, creative, an icon.
my biking buddy bob suggested I might enjoy reading one of her essays, titled why americans are afraid of dragons.
so I did.
the essay is, in essence, about our inability to be brave enough to consider possibilities foreign to us, outside our circles of comfort and knowledge and ability.

I would love to be so creative as to dream up funny little gnomes and hobbits and dragon creatures, place them in unusual situations, and tell the stories. but I don't know that I have this in me. I can make up numerous things, people, experiences, situations, but they all seem quite plebeian when compared to harry potter, vampire love triangles, and sword toting fairies.
I don't think I could even tell a good pirate story.
so I've decided that I should experiment, try to write something completely impossible according to our known rules of existence. I think it will be quite difficult.

but---ah ha---difficult is the realm in which possibility exists.

just like pushing myself to zone 5, like doing those last 20 crunches when my abs are already on fire, like making those phone calls I so don't want to make, like striking up a conversation with someone I don't know, like registering for an event that will push me harder than ever before:
being outside a comfort zone, stretching, exposing vulnerabilities, these are what provide opportunities for those amazing little things called possibilities to sneak their little toes and fingers into our lives.

so, next time I sit down to write something, it is going to be like nothing I've ever written. it will be full of impossibilities (according to newton and einstein) and possibilities, and it will probably unleash some aspect of myself I have yet to meet.

possibilities is my new favorite word.

1 comment:

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