After suffering with no net for more days than I thought possible, here we are!
This is another part of the good stuff I told you I would be bringing you about Worlds Unseen by Rachel Starr Thomson. ALSO--- I am giving away a free copy of her second book in the Trilogy. Check back in on the 9th of this month! It will be in e-book format that works with almost anything you can think of. (Nook, Kindle, Kindle in your PC, etc.)
And now more from Rachel Starr Thomson!
Where Life and Art Converge
Elsewhere on this blog tour, I wrote about reading responsibly by reading books that enable us to live better lives (http://bluerosesheart.blogspot.com/2011/11/reader-responsible-guest-post-by-rachel.html). I’ve also written about the writer as servant, spending time at this solitary pursuit for the purpose of “washing the feet” of others and putting truth into sharp relief, whether through fiction or through nonfiction (http://www.phylliswheeler.com/writer-servant-rachel-starr-thomson/). The question of where life and art meet is often asked, and it always seems ironic to me: art is a part of life. It flows out of it (dead men don’t paint) and so of course it flows back into it: art of any kind is the work of living souls, and its power is in touching other living souls.
I think this is true of all art forms, but maybe it’s easiest to see in the case of writing. Life and writing converge all over the place. My real-life faith in God is undergirded, challenged, and grown by the writings we know as the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. The insight into people’s hearts that I’ve gained from honest autobiography and maybe-even-more honest fiction enriches my relationships and grows compassion in me. My intellect is challenged by things I read, and that challenge makes my conversations more powerful and more able to affect myself and others. Reading may be escapism, but the escape is only momentary—like someone coming back from a vacation with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the daily grind, I come out of books more equipped and more energized for life.
As a graduated reader—i.e. a writer—I’ve found this to be true in many unexpected ways. The Seventh World Trilogy (Worlds Unseen, Burning Light, and Coming Day) is a fantasy story which, besides being about people and places like all stories are, deals with questions of reality and deception; of the natural and supernatural and the “veil” between them; of the nature and outworking of faith; of the importance of beginnings and endings, and of what happens when we don’t know our own beginnings. I never realized how much the story would connect with real life for me, yet it’s happened over and over again.
The really fascinating thing to me is how many of the themes which have emerged as the strongest in the series weren’t conscious while I was writing. That of beginnings, for example. The people of the Seventh World are headed for an unspeakably dark future, and are turning their backs on their only hope, because they’ve bought a lie about where they came from. More and more I realize how much Genesis matters: that we were created by a particular God whose nature is revealed in the Bible; that we were created in his image; that we fell, through deception, into temptation; and that our whole future is based on that beginning. That origin matters to every person individually, though we may seldom think about it.
Another theme that came out in the books and which has converged startlingly with my life is that of believing without seeing. Some of the characters in the Seventh World “see” (especially Virginia Ramsey, the blind seer); others have to walk in faith alone—believing based on real evidence, but called upon to trust without sight. My own life has played out that story more and more as the years have gone by. So often I want to see and can only trust. But trust in a good God is always vindicated in the end.
The best convergence of life and art is that which enhances and enriches reality, lifting our eyes to see truth and love and God. Often, having lifted our eyes, our most appropriate response is art again: a song, a painting, a story. The convergence can happen in unexpected times and places. But this, I suspect, is what art is really for.
You can follow along with the rest of the blog tour, at
http://www.phylliswheeler.com (Nov 21), http://www.shannonmcdermott.com (Nov 23, Dec 5), http://carolkeen.blogspot.com (Nov 26, Dec 2, and Dec 9), http://bluerosesheart.blogspot.com (Nov 28), www.lindsayafranklin.com/blog/ (Nov 30, Dec 7), and www.sarahsawyer.com (Dec. 9)