I am generally reading a lot of stuff. Most of it is technical “how-to” stuff. Lots of software development stuff. Some of what I read will take the form of news articles. I consume readings here and there. I seem always to be on the look-out for something interesting to read.
In many ways we are blessed with this vast world that we call the Internet. All sorts of information on all sorts of subjects is all right at our fingertips. The amount of information on it is growing every day. We can go on with our lives, consuming our media from spaces like the Internet, and something is slightly off. But as we move from moment to moment we’re unaware at those times of this “off-ness.” At least I’d have to say that about myself.
Today, I happened to run into some writing on-line that was really good writing. It was more than just being void of typos, or errors in grammar. It was more than the fact that it contained interesting or useful information. It was the beauty of the prose. It was written in such a way that if the subject of the piece had been something that I had no interest in, I still would have wanted to read it for the shear delight of how it all sounded in my head, how the author’s care defused out of the writing, off the page, into my head, into my being. I would want to enjoy the thoughtfulness the author had in piecing together their sentences.
I’ve read things like this in the past. But thinking about it, this past sadly has become a distant past for me. It brings into focus how much of what I read and the little bit that I have written… is dull, one-dimensional writing. Somewhat clear, perhaps communicating information mostly accurately, but soulless.
Are we rushing on carelessly, generating content on one hand, and sloppily consuming it on the other? We are not machines. We are humans. We are creatures with souls. We are not machine learning algorithms trying to quickly find the right answers. At least I don’t think that we should be.
Reading good poetry is cathartic for me. But I forget this. I’ve been too dang lazy to really do anything about it.
I’ve heard it said that to be a good writer you need to be reading a lot of good writing. I have come to the conclusion today that I want to start to be more intentional about reading really good writing on a regular basis. Not just so my writing will improve, but so my creative humanity will be nourished as well.
Perhaps, (just maybe), I should trying writing poetry and not just reading it. Poetry not only communicates the message of the poem, but it’s important how it sounds. Maybe that’s why a good poem touches something deep inside me: it take more thought, more intention to make it sound a certain way. The thought needed in devising the rhyming and the meter go beyond the basic message of the poem. If done really well, it should also enhance or extend the meaning of the poem!
Well, I think I am done saying what I want to say of this subject for now. I am glad I got these thoughts out of me and “on paper”.
I’m writing these ideas out to press them down into my mind. To hopefully nudge me to be at least a little more thoughtful. More thoughtful about words and their effect on our soul.