Heart Of Brightness

Yesterday I wrote about authors finding a friendly route for their readers. I think this an apt metaphor for the writing process, and part of why so many authors talk about discovery as one of writing’s greatest pleasures. If you share your work with other people, you will eventually have the experience of a reader being moved or excited by what you’ve written, just as you have been moved or excited by what you have read. For me, when a piece of writing shines most brightly it is as if the writer has revealed something to me that I have always known but have never expressed, and I come away feeling as if I have learned something about myself.

To put it another way, writing is like seeing a light from your window. You find the light beautiful and you enjoy looking at it across the horizon, but you would like to see it close up. So you set out to find your way toward it. Your readers have seen this light too, but like you have never chosen to find its source. As you trace the linguistic path toward this light, as you discover that intellectual and emotional route, you become a guide both to yourself and to your readers.

Upon arrival you experience the unique mixture of discovery and recognition. Recognition because you have always known the light and it is not new to you, and discovery because the light is that much brighter and warmer close up and now that you know the path you may go there whenever you want.

There are lights everywhere calling to us. Sometimes we see a light and head toward it and sometimes we start walking until one comes into view. Either way, the only journey that ever matters is inward. The heart does not know darkness, it is all light, and when we turn toward another bright spot on the horizon we are actually turning toward ourselves.

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