Allright, so the second book with a chapter by moi is in print now. Never mind that its Sales Rank is #2,116,676. My previous book is selling much better (rank #433,808). FWIW, both books have the very same interview with author Terry Tempest Williams.
One of these days I need to get something else published. :)
For those of you who haven’t yet read this particular interview, here’s an excerpt that you might enjoy…
Jana: Some theorists have suggested that the body is perhaps a better source of language and understanding than the mind. What do you think about these ideas and how do you think an LDS writer could use them to overcome something like the use of religious cliches or institutional thinking?
Terry: The body does not lie. Therefore, if we write out of the body, we are writing out of the truth of our lives. This creates a language that is organic and whole. Original. We listen to what is coursing through our veins, what is held within our hearts, what is registered in our bones. Call it cellular knowledge. Something akin to instinct. It is here, perhaps, were we write muscular prose that lifts our ideas to both a higher and deeper place where the full range of our intelligence can be found.
If we are simply writing out of our heads, there is no weight to our words. They become abstractions that dissipate into the air. This is the realm of rhetoric. The body is the realm of the story. And it is in story that we bypass rhetoric and pierce the heart. We feel it first and understand it later. Memory resides in the body. Memorization resides in the mind.
I think we fall into religious cliches when we become afraid of the deep reflective work that organic writing requires. Cliches follow answers and almost always leads us to sentimentality. Nothing surprises or delights. Original prose that breathes and bleeds follows the questions, the mysteries, the place where we dare to say I don’t know where I am going on the page. It is the place of discovery and revelation. This is where we can begin to trust the body. The body carries the physical reality of our spirits like a river. Institutional thinking is fearful of rivers because rivers inevitably follow their own path and that channel may change from day to day, even though the muscle of the river, the property of water remains consistent, life sustaining, fierce and compassionate, at once.
To write out of the body is to write ourselves into a freedom. It is here we can let go of fear and trust the joy that is held in each movement of the hand, word by word by word.