The Authors Mind
Everything was white! Well, except for the lines of black ink I have just used to describe the whiteness. It seems the more I describe the whiteness by writing about it the less white it becomes. I have just realized that I changed the environment around me. How interesting. I wonder? If I describe a woodland path lined with tall beautifully formed oak trees would it appear?
Yes, there it is, a lovely wooded path that winds around several meadows on the left and right. I am walking the path and above me the sky is blue and warmed by a bright yellow morning sun. “This is impossible” I’m thinking and yet as I blink and rub my eyes I hear the birds singing around me and a scampering squirrel bounces and skips through the brush. “What shall I do now?” I wonder.
I will write about a pleasant morning walk with a fishing pole and creel basket in hand. I am wearing a fishing vest which completes my well-coordinated outfit of boots, pants, shirt and hat. In the direction before me I can see a fast flowing river in the distance. The tree filtered sunlight dapples the foot path before me with gold, yellow and brown colored hue.
What a beautiful, tranquil scene I have created. I still find it hard to fathom what I had just done. Turning myself around in all directions I can see the virtual world I had created before me. As I approached the shore of the river I noticed it had broadened and became shallower where stones were visible. The water swirled around and over them and bubbled and gurgled as only flowing water can. Had I really created this virtual world just for me? Did it really exist if no one else could see it? Was it not really meant to be shared? How would I share it if I wanted to? I had to sit down and ponder this for a while.
At the base of a beautiful oak tree was a dry shelf of exposed ledge warmed by a spot of sun. I sat and reclined there admiring the scene. A few birds were twittering and calling back and forth to each other from distances apart. Thoughts came upon me quickly. In order to share this world with another I would need to create another person by writing one into the story, scene, or world or whatever it was I had just created. Or perhaps a person may simply read the words I had placed upon the whiteness and this world would become real to them as well.
If that was true, this world could be shared by the people I create to inhabit the world and by those who choose to read about it. I would only be able to know those whom I have created. Those who read about this world would remain unknown to me.
I would be able to interact with the things I create. They could appear and disappear. They could be made to live or die. Once I create something or someone and direct its fate the reader may use a tool called imagination to fill in the portions that I have not described or written about. They may only direct the fate of a something or someone that I have made by recreating and placing them in their world. At that point they are no longer my creation. The reader would only know this place to the extant by which I describe it. Everything else not described in full is then subject to the reader’s imagination.
How foolish to think that I had complete control of how this world is perceived by the reader. All that I had created in this world is mine to enjoy and experience. The reader has no influence here because the reader is outside this imaginative world and may only view it and use what I have described or created to form their own world within their imagination.
All the un-described undefined areas of my imaginative creation are available to be detailed and personalized by the reader. That is perhaps what makes reading enjoyable. The imaginative freedom to fill in all the details left unwritten by me, the author.
What cannot be left to the reader’s imaginative control is the main plot and direction of the story. Without the story everything descriptively created by the author is without purpose. Its only value is as a place. It is like the backdrop of a theater waiting to be populated and infused with energy, emotion, ambition, direction, purpose, character, and plot of the story.
Now the words of the great Shakespeare become clear. “All the world is a stage and we are but mere players” Indeed the world is an immense and awesome setting and place. Imagine it in all its diversity of animal life, its geological and meteorological forces, its nature and science and biological structure. Without human interaction and relationships with each other and the world it is all just a place, the perfect setting for a story.
My thoughts are now arranged and I had come to a place of understanding. I stretched my arms up as I stood and embraced the warm sun. Brushing myself off, I intentionally left my creel and fishing pole at the base of the grand oak tree. I began walking back towards where I had come from. The water gurgled and splashed over and around the stones. Then as the water got deeper its sound receded. I turned as I walked and looked back. Everything behind me was white. The oak tree was gone, the shallows and the shore line were now just whiteness.
I continued ahead along the tree lined path. The filtered sunlight through the trees dappled the path before me with patches of golden yellow and brown. The birds twittered as the squirrel scampered away into the whiteness. My well-coordinated fishing outfit boots, pants, shirt, vest and hat were gone.
I continued walking as I realized I had become part of the whiteness. The path ahead and the meadows were slowly fading. The surrounding trees, the blue sky and yellow sun all slowly but most totally became white.