Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Theme song

You have themes, whether you're aware of them or not. We all do. We are all drawn by whispered undercurrents, stories we live by. If you're an artist of any kind, these themes tend to be easier to see--always the same shadows or pomegranates in your paintings; always the lonely can-do tomboy with the absent parents in your writing; always the same baleful notes in your music. You get the idea.

If you don't make art, you might be drawn to it, not really knowing what it is about those chicken-dropping Jackson Pollack paintings that you just love to look at, or why it is that the only movies worth seeing are comedies, no matter how bad or raunchy. Or maybe your themes emerge in the canvas of your lived life--the same kind of lover or friend or job that you choose over and over again, striving for mastery of some ineffable point in time that's beyond your memory.

Maybe the theme emerges organically--time and again you stumble across something emblazoned with the image of a hummingbird, and after awhile you think, okay, I get it--I don't know why, but this means something to me. I'll look for it. I'll recognize it and consider the hummingbird as a sign that I'm on the right path.

Do you know your themes? Do you want to?

The one that is driving me on right now, in life and in writing and interest is community. How to find it, make it, sustain it. I'm studying how isolation damages the soul, and trying to understand why it is that some of us need more of it than others.



At 8:02 AM, Blogger Trushka said...

Hi dear!

Interesting indeed! And I think many writers suffer from isolation, right?

In fact, many "many things" suffer from isolation. Any profession.

I like how nicely written this post is. :)

At 8:51 AM, Blogger tracer said...

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.” M. Scott Peck

That's the one I've been working with lately.
Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Trushka--Yes, I think there is a lot of isolation in the writing community (or at least, a perception of being isolated), but I don't think it has to be that way!

Tracy: Love that quote. Absolutely wonderful!!

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Maryanne Stahl said...

very interesting and astute remarks about our individual themes. I've always been aware I have them, but sometimes I don't want to think about it!

I think of you as a very connected writer, what with your magazine, radio, bookstore gigs and teaching, etc. do you feel isolated? I sort of need isolation in order to write, though I love regular community gatherings (conferences, workshops, etc.) writing groups are very useful, too, although I have not been in one for a while.

are you?

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Fionnix said...

Funny. I've been thinking of isolation lately, but in a different way. I'm learning to accept that I can't have as much of it as I did. I'm learning to write despite the background noise. I've missed my former solitude to some degree, but not so much I'd change anything.

On themes: I'm with you.

I've noticed a couple of things:

The more I learn about myself the more I discover there is to learn, and the more I learn about others.

When I begin to feel disconnected from the people in my life, my goals, etc... what has really happened is this: I've disconnected from myself. I'm not being true to me in some way... to my themes, perhaps.

Wonderful, thought provoking post, Jordan. Thank you! I'm happy I'm tuning in again.



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