African Bushmen, God, and Reality in Writing…

There is a Dream dreaming us.

–African Bushman

(The Mystic Vision–Daily Encounters with the Divine, Compiled by Andrew Harvey and Anne Baring)

How often do I create characters, work with them in uncovering their stories and personalities as I put write them on the page only to then meet a person who within seconds I recognize as one of my characters in a novel?


Of course these people have most often been around since long before I wrote or even conceived of the story to my novel, and its characters. I have not breathed them into life. And yet a connection exists between what we write and the life around us.

Let’s say for instance that the people I meet who remind me of characters I have created or who have emerged in my stories, have risen in some sense, from my novels.

What would that mean, that we as writers create characters whom we will then encounter in the physical form of human individuals through engagements and interactions and life?

And let’s say these people do not know, have no understanding or awareness that we are their creator.
This sounds a little bit like God, and that at the worst, writers, in creating our characters whom we imagine and sometimes feel we have met when engaging with other human individuals, are actually playing, when we write, God.

Writing stories, in truth, does hold a reverence, a part of the sacred. I think we most aptly see this when masters of the literary form of art remind or admonish us novices that we must love all our characters if our stories are to have meaning.

And that when we do not, we must stop and explore why we hold these feelings of loathing against that which or whom we have created, or in greater truth, has emerged from our imaginative consciousness.

Are we, when working with our characters, in some sense dialoguing and engaging with various aspects of ourselves, dimensions of our own personalities we have yet to integrate, accept and embrace?

Or are we as the African Bushmen suggest writing the dream of our existence into waking reality?

~ by Anjuelle Floyd on February 24, 2010.

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