The Beautiful Battlefield by Alexandra Scholldorf

Posted: September 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

I read in a neurobiology textbook that the left hemisphere of the brain creates stories out of experiences. It naturally generates plausible cause and effect relationships from the information of everyday life. I survey the crowd of conference-goers—who are all here to tell their stories—and I wonder how a process so natural to us is so incredibly difficult to put on paper. A struggle. A knock-out fight to communicate. This grassy field with rented tents and tables and chairs is a battlefield, the enemy the wall between you and everyone else and the ally a rare soul who understands to leave you alone to figure out how to climb it, who understands that writing is a solitary war. It’s an internal war, a silent, life-long catastrophe, and the only respite is the once-in-a-while sentence that prompts the thought: “that sentence is good. That sentence is the truth of what I want to say.” A small victory. We are meaning-making creatures. But expressing that meaning to others? That takes a fight. For all these people, myself included, it will be painful, frustrating, exhausting. Thank goodness for the lovely scenery.

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