I was walking with David (how nice it is to say that, to be physically not just virtually near him) and discussing the contemporary writers we know. A sensitive lot, the whole bunch of them. Of course we love them, but they must be approached with more care. Then I asked David mi Osito about a shared experience we had with an author, “Don’t you think he romanticized the experience a lot? I’m not saying it isn’t real, just a romanticized view-point.” David, in the insight and calm I’ve come to expect from him, replied, “That is what an author is supposed to do, to romanticize a situation so that we want to feel it too”.
I haven’t been able to get that idea out of my head and thought about it as I was just a few pages into Elena Poniatoska‘s Todo México book that I am currently reading. When writing about the architect Luis Barragán she says:
Tras de los anteojos su mirada es tranquila, e paz consigo misma, una hermosa mirada de hombre logrado, cruza sus grandes manos, una contra la otra en una actitud de rezo; aguarda, es un hombre que sabe esperar; entre los dos el tiempo se detiene como se detiene también en estos altos y espesos muros blancos que nos rodean y dan una sensación de fortaleza interior, la misma que emana de Luis Barragán.
How romanticized is that? I mean I’m glad she does it. But my analysis of the situation would’ve been more like “Dude crossed his arms, fiddled with his hands, I got bored with waiting. Who did the Luis Barragán think he was?” I guess that is one of many reasons I am not a writer but am glad they exist.
I wonder when I’m walking down the street (and I’ve done a lot of the last few days) what it is that I miss, that others would see. What has affected my views and allows others to have a different perspective? I enjoy seeing the world, but there is something magical about viewing it as an artist, or a musician or a chemist. I want in on all the views I don’t have. Thank goodness for authors, artists, musicians, and scientists who offer the world with moment of insight.