a philosophical riff on writing

“Limitations are the soil from which creativity grows.”
Jeffrey Zeldman

Writing is linear. Thinking, dreaming, and feeling are complex, circular, and multi-dimensional. When we write – whatever we write – we translate sensations, roundness, amorphous half-beings and ghosts, prisms, archetypes, half-known impulses, memories, proto-poetry, wishes, pain, joy, parallel universes, lunacy, sensations, and energy into line after line of art whose form is so restricted as to be laughable.

Writing exists in only three dimensions – height, width, and time: the shapes of the letters on a flat plane plus the time it takes to read. Our interior lives are multi-dimensional way beyond three. More like to the power of three. Or infinity. Engaging in the act of writing is the distillation of an infinity of dimensions down to only three.

Writing’s restrictive minimalism entices and toys with us, daring us to express ourselves in spite of the cage. And we do. And lives are changed. Again and again.

Every time any of us writes anything, we are metaphoric artists and spatial geniuses.


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