Thursday, March 26, 2009
I find the stories behind stories interesting; looking at a photograph, thinking about what it shows, and how, but also why was it taken? Why did the photographer stop and pose this, structure that, capture anything? Was she trying to demonstrate the bleakness of American life in the midst of the dust bowl? Trying to draw a parallel between dust and human mortality? Or just take a picture of a striking woman, because she's there, and her image, in whatever way she is interpreted, has meaning, and seeing it, the photographer had an inclination, obligation even, to share her image? And in music: where did that line come from? How did that particular sound come about?
It's partly curiousity, a genuine wonder about the artistic process: simple luck, 10,000 hours of practice, a concscious effort to create this effect or emotion, a mindful manipulation of expectation? And it's partly knowledge, a history with creating, a shared experience; I know that sometimes things come about in unlikely ways, from the stories I've heard and from the stories I have myself.
But in starting this blog, initially I took the opposite approach: here are circumstances, and you can see the result. Like Jeopardy, a little bit. "These things: don't use first person pronouns in a first person narrative" and I say "What is The Reluctant I?" by writing and posting. Which is interesting, at least to me, because it's my writing, but there isn't any dialogue. We need Alex Trebek to mediate between answer and question and we like to know who these people are that are providing the questions. And while the question they provide relates to the answer, it isn't the only answer for a question like "Who is Theodore Geisel?" or "What is Honduras?" And of course, while the question relates to the answer, there are still more questions that have meaning.
So, while I will continue to respond, in order, to the prompts provided by Brian Kiteley in his book The 3 AM Epiphany, I will also post my thoughts on the process, to share how I approached the prompt, what I was trying to do in my response, etc., when it seems relevant.