Thursday, September 16, 2004
Again, a quote on the subject of writing and what it accomplishes, this time by Kim Stafford, from the Northwest Writing Institute newsletter for August 2004:
"In school, I realized, there was this idea that knowledge came first. When you had enough, you moved up through grades toward the grown-up world. But Guthrie turned this around. In his schema, as I understood it, life would thrust you into a predicament that would force you to grow. Then, if you knew how to lead a reflective life, you would distill this growth into understanding. Pain first, then growth, then understanding, and only then knowledge of how the world works. Knowledge to serve the world.
If you love, pain will come. No question. In time, what you love will be threatened, hurt, even destroyed. And, helplessly, you will grow. But the distillation of this suffering and this growth into knowledge-in my experience this distillation happens by writing and sharing with engaged friends what the writing brings. Guthrie had given me a new way to see what we do. By writing, we turn half-understood episodes of transformation into stories, poems, and essays."