Saturday, April 6, 2024

Everything is Copy


The past few weeks have been filled with the unexpected. This is a photo of a tree branch that fell on the roof of one of our little barns during the recent ice storm just a day before our house fire.

And then yesterday, we had a small earthquake that rumbled through the house in the morning, along with an aftershock in the afternoon. My daughter and I survived the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, so I have a bit of PTSD when it comes to the earth moving in an unnatural manner. Okay, a completely natural manner--just surprising at the time.

Generally, in life we like things to be calm and orderly, and only peppered with nice surprises. However, as a writer I know that all these experiences (the good and the bad) can be considered material. Or as Nora Ephron famously said--Everything is copy.

Picasso's famous painting, Guernica is considered the most powerful anti-war painting of all time, based on the horrors of the 1937 bombing of the Spanish town by the same name. Picasso had started a different mural in January of that year, but in April, after he heard the reports of the Nazi and Fascist bombings of the small town of Guernica, he changed his approach--using matte paint, in black, white and grey, and something Dora Marr called a camera-less technique. His idea was to replicate the look of newspaper reportage during this horrendous time.

Dear friends, I do not wish disaster upon you, but as creative people I do beseech you use your genius to put these times through the great transformation machine that is called art and literature, music and dance. 

You just might save the world. And at the very least, you will save yourself.



P.S. Thank you for all your emails about our house fire! No one--not even Mister Pickles--was hurt. Our 200 year old home is getting repaired. This will take a while, but eventually, all will be well. Again, thank you! My heart bursts with gratitude for your kind wishes.

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