Writing Dreams

Footprints

I RECENTLY FINISHED Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore.” Murakami has been described by some critics as the greatest writer still living today. This book in particular has been labeled as one of his best. (For more, see my review on Goodreads.) Murakami writes his dreams. There are thousands of blogs, essays, reviews, pieces on the web talking about how incredible a writer, how revolutionary his stuff is. There’s a common sense of expressed amazement at how fantastic his writing can be. “Kafka on the Shore” includes scenes and imagery as varied and off-the-wall as WWII era UFO’s; a strange, enlightened old man who can talk with cats; a sociopathic, animal-mutilating Johnnie Walker; Colonel Sanders as a pimp; a mysterious stone disc with the power to somehow affect the world; a precocious, “well-equipped” 15 year old boy’s possibly incestuous sexual dalliances. All of this is very imaginative, sure. But I contend … READ MORE…

The Importance of Place

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Place This body of mine, in all its seeming dense and static corporeality; in all its seeming distinct and separate nature, is a mere interim expression of time and place. Like an animated ghost it moves through space, pervious to air and liquid, bacterium and virus, quark and neutrino. All but the most mundane and structured matter (itself a mere temporary arrangement) passes through me, interacts with me, affects me. I breathe the air, I drink the water, I am infected and then shot-through a trillion times over by the natives of its sub-atomic jungle. Except in mind and myopia, Place and “I” are near the same. Despite frequent admonitions to the contrary (Tennessee Williams: “I can write anywhere…”), a writer is an animated eating breathing thinking shitting expression of place. Beyond the obvious examples such as Joyce’s Dublin, Hemingway’s Paris, Lee’s Alabama, the “where” of a writer’s work is … READ MORE…

On Receiving a Negative Review

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A little time lapse shot with the moon rising over a winter oak. 30 second interval. Outside of Castle Rock, Colorado. #nature #moon #picoftheday #video #timelapse #colorado #followforfollow #follow4follow #followme #instapic #instadaily #castlerock #photography #photooftheday A video posted by Will Burcher (@willburcher) on Feb 24, 2016 at 3:15pm PST A FEW WEEKS AGO, a first real negative review of The GAIAD. After I’d read the thing, it took a few moments to identify my reaction. A half-second after that, a mental double-take and a literal LOL. Though not at the review. The review itself was well-written, the author clearly in possession of an active and educated mind. I respected his opinion. Respect, however, can absolutely exist simultaneously with disagreement. This sounds elementary—indeed, it’s a tenet that should be taught (along with so many other important and overlooked things) more vigorously to kids at school and at home. How many seemingly … READ MORE…

A Positive Path

A fall day in Colorado. Above Geneva Creek, 90 mins west of Denver, 12,000 ft.

  I’m inclined to judge—people, places, my dogs, myself. I’m inclined like some rotten old tree, bent toward an undefined but clearly negative gravitational mass. And none of this is new, of course. I’m certainly not the only one afflicted by this proclivity. My mind, my ego, or the “I” of which “I” speak is effectively a resistance device, manufacturing judgment and negativity; bush-whacking through a daily span usually by toil and brow-sweat and a hell of a lot of swearing. But this I know. And therein lies the hope. With self-knowledge always comes a liberating ability—that of choice. I can choose to see that negative inclination for what it is and I can let go of it. Or at least I can sit back and watch the movie play out, knowing that “I” am that movie’s audience, not the film itself. And then, with practice, I can choose the … READ MORE…

Up from Below

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(Sperlonga, Italy. Photo by WB) Within this blog is a section entitled “Up from Below.” I wanted to explain it. Some might call this section “contemplative” or “philosophical” or “spiritual.” Perhaps all of these terms fit. I don’t know. For me, writings, musings, posts that fit in this section simply come from a place within me, the writer, that seems deeper and less tangible than that other, more common point of origin. They might also concern writers or works of art and lit, or the stuff of other thought leaders that I feel comes from this same place. These things well “up from below;” like a spring or a kind of clear and bubbling brook rising up and out of the earth. The term comes from a feeling, more than anything. The term is my expression of a perception almost prior to specific thought or words. I’ve come to learn that my … READ MORE…

Resistance

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(Just outside of Moab, Utah. The sun was setting behind my burning bush.) I kept second-guessing myself on this one.  Self-Talk: “You’re setting a very serious tone, and it’s just the beginning.  It could be too serious.  You’re going to turn people off—” Well, whatever.  It’s who I am.  I’m pretty serious.  Not all of these blog entries will be like this.  I promise.  Some might even have video of cute puppies doing cute things, or me dancing, or some other thing. Resistance!  Specifically the resistance we as writers encounter within ourselves when we set out to create something real, something good. And I should qualify this first.  Not all writers will encounter it.  Some writers produce, write, from a different place within.  For some, I think, it’s a necessity—a kind of outlet, an internal valve—and if they don’t write the pressure builds up within until something bad happens.  The curse … READ MORE…