The Art of Squeezing?
With all the conversations flying around these days thanks to Donald Trump, it’s entirely possible that this blog post title will put you off reading more. No, it’s not naughty. Neither is it about making lemonade, I promise. If you do want to read about lemons, you’ll find the juice here.
This story might show what I’m writing about.
In 1819, a blind soldier named James Holman, was invalided out of the British Navy.
His reaction? He promptly set out to “see” the world. He traveled alone, except for one brief stint with a deaf man. James spoke none of the languages he encountered, and moved about by public transit. When he returned to England, he published several travel books about his adventures. He wrote that he “rarely felt he missed anything because of his blindness.”
When people would notice his condition, they would invite him to “squeeze things,” as a way of perceiving them.
“And this is what the contemporary travel writer may have to do,” wrote Anatole Broyard in his essay about Holman. “He may have to squeeze places until they yield something, anything.”
From Terry Hershey via The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred
The Art Of Squeezing
While Anatole Broyard is talking about travel writing, I do believe that this applies to any writing. I often have experiences that I believe that I must write about. I want to express my deepest feelings about these experiences. But I seem to choke on getting those emotions out the way I really feel them.
I have to learn the art of squeezing the emotions out of those experiences. To express these feelings just the way I experienced them. That takes skill. It needs me to be daring. It requires me to be more accepting of uncomfortable feelings and share them in my writing.
I’d love to know how far you are with getting this art right.
Image of lemon press via Shutterstock