The Anais Nin meme I have put up twice on my facebook wall, reads, ‘the role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we cannot say,’ Is that an arrogant thing for her to assume? Or is it visionary, original, and true?
Are writer’s conjurers, tricksters, or are they illuminators, diviners – those who find the water so everyone can drink, the water being words, and metaphors, deep within the creative ground?
When I go divining – I am looking for something many people would like to express, enjoy reading and would find hard to put into words. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and sometimes your subject finds you.
One of the times I have found a subject like this, it was how does a cyclone aftermath make you feel?
I knew it was going to be difficult to capture – but somehow through stories, reflection, poetry, photographs I was going to do my best to speak of the inner and outer journey that happens. Not everyone has been through a cyclone recovery process, and not everyone doing so would want to write about it.
I found myself turning to the idea of practical angels, and the villainy of looters, and the roller coaster of recovery.
I kept divining for more words, more metaphors, and found inspiration in stories from others.
Stories of butterflies painted on fly away rooves, or a farmer sitting on his tractor in the shed, ready to go open the windows and protect his dogs – sometimes I was taking what others were saying and presenting it for the reader/viewer to divine.
Is this what Anais means?
I am not sure, but perhaps the role of the writer is to say what we need to hear to help us heal, but which is too painful to express except in the written tapestries of metaphor and story.
Inspired by ‘When you Want to Quit Writing’ Write Practice