By Keith Fisher
One day, during a recent hospital vigil, I went looking for a private place. I needed to get away, shed a few tears, and try to put my life in perspective. Going down in the elevator, I remembered the chapel.
Sitting in the back, in the comfortable chairs I removed my glasses and rubbed my face. Everyone has those moments, and I had one of mine. After a while, I began to notice the cut glass mosaic behind the pulpit. I saw the rose depicted in colored glass. I followed the sweeping lines of the leaves and traced the layers of the rosebud.
I finished my moment, and squared my shoulders, willing myself to go on. I put my glasses on and glanced at the mosaic again. It had changed---the rose had turned into pieces of cut glass arranged in uncertain patterns. I visualized where the rose had been, but my mind could not focus on it.
I alternated between glasses on and glasses off for a few minutes, and marveled at the contradiction. My glasses might be the wrong prescription, but they usually provide clarity of vision.
I don’t know why I couldn’t see the rose with my glasses on, but the experience provided distraction from my troubles, and I am grateful for it.
As a writer, I search my mind and experiences with life to find plot direction. I tend to overlook the silly or unbelievable, thinking the reader would never believe it, or it would change the whole direction the book is supposed to go. So, I ignore those thoughts trying to bring my mind into sharper focus.
I wonder what would happen if I took off my glasses and ran with the unusual? It might take my book in refreshing and publishable directions. I have a friend in my critique group who did that. She writes historical fiction with serious subjects. One night, she and her husband got silly, joking around with what if scenarios. The result of that laugh fest will be a wonderful light-hearted series of books everyone will love, and they are not historical.
Maybe sometimes we should take off our writer’s glasses and enjoy the view. If nothing else we could have a wonderful time exploring the silly. Perhaps we should stop taking ourselves so seriously. It’s true, we can’t all write humor but like the time I spent in the chapel, sometimes we all need a little distraction.
Good luck with your writing---see you next week.
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