The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.
—Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964), Mystery and Manners, part 2 (1969).
Image courtesy of samurai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
How profound is this concept, and how true?
Flannery O’Connor is one of my favorite writers. A master of the short story, she is famous for blending the gritty and the mysterious into as motley a crew of characters as you’ll ever hope to meet.
If you’ve never read her work, I encourage you to sample her stories. Here’s a link to “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” which is often anthologized.
Have you experienced moments in your own writing where—somehow—the real and the mysterious come together? Tell me about it in a comment!
Armstrong Redwoods in the rain
There seems to be no new Weekly Photo Challenge posted for May 11, so I decided to post one on my own.
This photograph, taken in the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in northern California, isn’t exactly unfocused, but it was taken in light rain, which gives it an ethereal quality, I think. I felt so small, walking among those trees in the rain. Their majesty and longevity are overwhelming. Yet, here and there, I saw giants fallen. They eventually succumb to time as everything does.
It’s pouring rain here in Mississippi this morning, a gloomy, chilly day for May, which may account for my mood. The rain reminds me a little of that day in the Armstrong Redwoods, but the photo also reminds me of the setting for the novel I’m working on: forest land of the deep South, not majestic, but dense and wild and hiding secrets.
If you need some inspiration today, and if it isn’t pouring down rain where you are, go somewhere. Get out in the natural world. If it is pouring, or if for some other reason you’re stuck inside, take time to look at photos you haven’t seen in a while. Find something you never saw before, I mean really saw, and let it inspire you.
What in the natural world inspires you? Do you have a favorite place that brings out your creativity?