The past ten days have been a whirlwind of nearby travel for me, including a big family reunion in the mountain states with four generations, ages ranging from brand new to ninety-three (I hadn't seen a few of those people for years); a trip to the Oregon coast with some of the family; and a lot of catching up—shopping, eating, drinking, talking. Whew. I'm tired, but it's been an excellent ten days.
I hadn't thought about it, but these kinds of concentrated interpersonal experiences are loaded with creative possibility, not only from intense feelings that always come up with families, but just opening up your mind to worlds you don't normally consider as real and immediate in your own life.
I came away with a renewed sense of the value of knowing others on a deep level, and of knowing myself, even though I've been close to most of these people (and me!) much or all my life. Simple as that. It's the sort of thing we think we already have nailed, until we come face-to-face with all the layers people have that we haven't explored. Peeling that onion—it's an endless source of creative energy.
Psychologists say that virtually all personal growth is relational. We understand not only others, but ourselves, through relating to others who are important to us (especially loved ones—isn't it amazing how much you learn about yourself through raising a child, for example?)
Have you noticed this sort of growth in your own relations? Has it been a source of creativity for you? Does it feel like learning and finding a more authentic voice by doing what comes naturally?
I think this always has to be true, because relationships form the backbone of any writing--whether its a relationship between two people, a person and his or her environment.ReplyDelete
At the very least, I don't know how anyone can write dialog without having hundreds of introductions, conversations, and relationships to draw on.
I agree, Jeff. I heard an interesting interview with an author, though, who pointed out that one can find all the emotions and character development needed for a novel within her own heart, because we are such complex beings. Nonetheless, that doesn't happen without relationship!Delete
I definitely have, especially recently. Relationships enrich our lives in more ways than we realize, and they form who we are. Glad to hear you had a good reunion!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Heather. Yes, relationships are so important, aren't they?Delete
Linda, most definitely. I have been seeing sides of my family I never knew existed. But all has helped me grow on many levels.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you had a wonderful time with your family. Now... back to the normalcy and quiet, with time to reflect a little deeper and put some of those feelings into your work. Thanks for a great, and very reflective, post.
Thanks, Karlene, it was good to see everyone. Amazing when you step back from your family, then step in again.Delete