Writing that Opens Windows

by Francisco Stork on October 22, 2015

To open up windows is the function of religion, says Rumi, the wonderful Persian poet. And I would add of writing as well. But how? What kind of writing opens up windows? So much of what we write simply repeats what is in the windowless rooms of our reader’s mind. So much of what we write does not open up a window to something new or something valuable that has been forgotten. Writing that opens up windows gives a new perspective to a reality that in many ways has been shaped by others in predictable ways. A reality that has been shaped since childhood by ancient prejudices and fears, by commercial expectations of success, by the media. So when you write, ask yourself if you are opening windows or whether you are simply reinforcing in the reader what is already there. Writing that opens windows is more than a metaphor – it is a practice, a technique, a decision that is made before you start to write and constantly as you progress in your work. There are innumerable places when your story can go in one direction or another, when your character can be this way or that, when you can choose to say or not say something. Writing that opens windows then becomes an ever-present, bold search for the unpredictable, a struggle to shift the reader’s perception toward some new way of seeing and feeling and understanding. Writing that opens windows arises ultimately from the writer’s recognition that art is capable of feeding the hunger for meaning that exists in the reader’s soul, or at the very least, awaken it. Art helps us live. It gives meaning and solace and hope to our lives. Writing that opens windows allows the reader to look out and be a part of a larger world. It lets the reader know that she is not alone with her yearning for truth and beauty. But writing that opens windows also lets light in. When writing opens a window it becomes a vehicle for grace. It allows grace to enter a person’s heart. Grace can have a divine origin if you are religious, like Rumi, or it can simply be the gratitude for living that life bestows to anyone open to it. Finally, writing that opens windows can only happen if the writer opens windows in his or her heart. That’s the ethic, the responsibility, the integrity of this type of writing. Your writing will open windows in the reader’s life to the extent that you open windows in yours.

Previous post:

Next post: