Monday, January 19, 2009

What It Is

An artist friend of mine recommended What It Is to me, and I rarely can resist a book recommendation (ermmm... unless its 1,000 pages of Ulysses S. Grant! A dilemma that has yet to be solved).

This book is a lot of things - a work of art, an autobiography, a workbook for creative impulses, and a graphic novel. It's a treasure trove.

My favorite bit was the following:

There are certain children who are told they are too sensitive, and there are certain adults who believe sensitivity is a problem that can be fixed in the way that crooked teeth can be fixed and made straight. And when these two come together you get a fairytale, a kind of story with hopelessness in it.

I believe there is something in these old stories that does what singing does to words. They have transformational capabilities, in the way melody can transform mood.

They can't transform your actual situation, but they can transform your experience of it. We don't create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay. I believe we have always done this, used images to stand and understand what otherwise would be intolerable.

This is a book you could open a thousand times and still find something new each time. I'm giving it an 8, and declare it well worth a read especially for all you dreamers and artists.

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