Yesterday in class the students shared their work. I was so proud of them. How personal they made it, their willingness to share, and the support and encouragement they gave one another: funny, sad, vulnerable, individual, human voices.
It was great when they each got up and performed for everyone. It reminded me of when I was in Ireland, or nights spent around the campfire in The County; people sharing their individual talents: singing, telling a joke, reciting their favourite poem, passage or adventure—never letting the "truth" bog the story down. Cold hard facts are good for some things; but the heart should be neither cold nor hard; so, in sharing the human experience, facts are a solid foundation to be built on; but they remain ill-equipped to relay the whole story on their own.
Exaggeration and imagination are needed to add depth and dimension—to give it life. If I tell you I was rushing around this morning and stubbed my toe, you know the facts but don’t share in my pain.
If I instead say, I was rushing around in my bare feet when I slammed my toe into the raised hardwood floor and this massive bloody splinter broke off and drove itself up right up under the nail of my big toe all the way back to the cuticle . . . well, you see what I mean.
It’s this type of freedom of expression that makes the human experience . . . human.
“ For a creative writer possession of the "truth" is less important than emotional sincerity.”- George Orwell
“Artists use lies to tell the truth, while politicians use them to cover the truth up.” Taken from ‘V for Vendetta’.