Friday, 27 January 2017

“That’s what storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again.” – Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks


I love what I do. How many people are fortunate enough to feel that way? For me, opening up the laptop and entering my stories is as exciting as going on vacation. It's much the same in many ways. I think about it constantly, I prepare with enthusiasm and I disappear into the pages of another world, one totally disconnected with my own. Just like a holiday, right?

Yet, lately, I haven't been able to successfully immerse myself in my writing. The world keeps knocking on my brain, popping up and distracting me, distressing me. I have considered staying away from all social media until Mags's story is complete, but I have Cutting to the Chase to launch next month. So it's not a good time to disappear from avenues of promotion.

Despite the staggering sense of doom that abounds everywhere you turn in the media, I fervently check throughout the day. It's like coming upon a car crash and knowing you should look away but some insane part of you stares, riveted to the scene. I keep waiting for the punchline to this very bad joke, and it isn't coming. Trickles of human insanity have always infiltrated our lives but this all-out bombardment is more than disconcerting; it is unnerving and leaves me wondering where our world is heading.

Accompanying this sense of ever-growing anxiety is worry for my many friends who are grappling daily with acts of racism and hate, struggling for their rights and despairing that their country will not survive the environmental impact of decisions being made. Heck, the world is worried about it.

I also worry about us. I'm concerned about our complacency, about the surety that it won't happen here. I wish I were confident that we have indelible moral fortitude, that our Canadian-ness is truly infallible in its kindness. But Kellie Leitch, who says that Trump's win is an "exciting message and one that we need delivered in Canada", and Kevin O'Leary, who has no political experience and is a loudmouth reality TV show personality (if that doesn't send chills down your spine, then you're doing a better job blocking out the news south of us than I am), are being presented as legitimate possibilities for leadership of the PC party. Not to mention, we just have to remember that Toronto elected Rob Ford not so long ago. It can happen here. It might happen here if the ugly rhetoric we hear daily starts to feel normal.

I don't yet know how to balance my concerns with my writing. I'm certainly not willing to bury my head in the sand and ignore what is going on. But, through the centuries, writers have shown us that stories are important too. They provide insight, give us a cathartic outlet and help us navigate our own world. And, sometimes, they just provide a much needed escape. It's why I read. It's why I must find a way to block the noise and write.

http://www.azquotes.com/author/12339-Alan_Rickman

8 comments:

  1. Rose, lots of Germans, including me, are also worried. And it's also a fateful year for the European Union, what with Germany, the Netherlands and France voting and warnings of voter fraud (not by voters, but by other countries; I guess you know which one I mean) and misinformation, etc. I've never been so interested in politics and have never followed the news so closely as these days. While you're right, it is frightful, the best we can do is to keep ourselves informed and to stand up to what be believe is right. Canada, like Germany is a beacon of light for many in these dark times. And since I absolutely adore the quotes accompanying this post of yours, I conclude with an all-time favorite of mine: "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." J. K. Rowling, "The Prisoner of Azkaban"

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  2. Nicole, great quote. Let's keep our lights turned on, not just for us but for anyone who needs to find their way.

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  3. Love that quote. That's why I write, to restore order. Mostly just to myself and my little world, to work through my emotions when I'm overwhelmed. But writers can restore order and hope to a crazy mixed up world. I hope the writers of the world are up to the task.

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  4. {{{hugs}}} I'm in the boat already, but I wish I could get off this cruise.

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  5. It's terrifying to think it could happen here, but I think it could. It's so important to keep resisting, to keep taking a stand, and to never let the madness we're seeing become "normalized". And meanwhile, we're supposed to be writing stories, lol. But yes, whether the stories are a means of escape or a means of engaging, they're so important, so needed!

    Perhaps I'll try journalling at the start of my writing times for a while, pouring the noise onto the page...maybe that'll either quiet things down enough so I can focus on my writing or rev things up so that the words will catch fire. :)

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  6. I'm thrilled to be living in a community that is supportive and kind and willing to be activists. It's a comfort...and a starting place.

    I love the phrase "pouring the noise onto the page." You must be an author. ;0) Thanks so much for dropping by.

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