The pen is an instrument of healing; healing is an act of remembrance. The artist’s purpose with the pen is to instruct, and provide every individual, if he/she reads patiently and intently, and the author articulate his point well, with a guiding path for his life. We have a responsibility to recreate, or tell, the essential nature of our time and provide the wisdom that, we believe, will light the path to fulfillment and increase the general welfare of the people. To remember is an act of the will, fulfilling the responsibilities required of us. A writer is like a surgeon, a CEO, a coach, a mentor or a teacher; the writer has an indispensable role in the value-making process of the world. We are concerned with the fulfillment of our time on the planet; for anyone to display the vulnerability required to put themselves on the front lines is an act of bravery. The constant questioning of our purpose seems to never cease, there is always something being required of us, but, I believe, the artist can instruct us to take a breath and look at the trees.
“Where there is no adequate vision the people perish…”-Albert Murray
Writing is a patient articulation of the inner life; an acknowledgement of pain and the creation of inspiration to utilize the antagonisms in our life. We are attempting, through literature and the act of writing, to integrate these antagonisms and utilize them for our benefit; however, we have to first recognize the value in our antagonisms. We use writing to acknowledge the fundamental condition of human life. Writing is an opportunity to close the distance between otherness and recognize the universality in our experience. Through the pen we shine light on the feelings of alienation and despair providing the individual the faith to celebrate the particulars of his life. Artists use their pen to tell the intimate parts of their story; to tell their childhood, to help remember the importance of love, and the necessity of faith in the acquisition of our goals. We are choreographing and composing an experience with our short stories, novels, and essays. It provides us with the constant readjustments required for living; the pen is my weapon of choice. Healing is a battle against illusion; no life is perfect, and no life is all trauma. The pen can become a path to recognize and appreciate beauty, then carry us into responsibility. Our tasks, from reading books, is to learn from the main character in order to avoid his mistakes, his confusion, or his destruction, and enhance the sensibilities of our experience.
“Now, one can often get away with playing music by ear when it is not being recorded, but writing is another matter; its mistakes are not forgotten because they are still there to confuse us.”- Albert Murray
The burning of books has to be one of the most dangerous displays of ignorance. It is a denial of an opportunity to grow, actively inhibiting the continuity of humanity. It is a statement, by those that stand around the fire, that the progressive aspect of life has not been accepted, a prevention of new beginnings. It is a defiance against a new beginning, not only because authors keep manuscripts of their writing on the internet, or there are interviews of the authors discussing their books, or there are millions of copies of the book in libraries, audiobooks, and digital forms; it also isn’t 213 BCE and the authors are not being buried alive along with their creations. This is a threat to our existence, and we can either withstand it, subdue it, or be annihilated by it. Our response cannot be to wait for these simpletons to change their hearts, but produce a literature with so much truth that they must add it to the fire. It won’t be long before the fire consumes them, and they become consumed by their own dragon. It is nothing other than a wasteful, fiery, display of their ignorance and cultural genocide. It teaches children to hate opinions that challenge their narratives and increases the fear of otherness; a declaration that everything outside of my own preconceived notions are worthy of group burnings. It only showcases the burner’s inability to have an open discussion, and prevents a healing of those involved in the circle of fire. Healing requires a confrontation with ourselves, and our image of the world; reading is a devotion to understand new ideas and integrate them into our lives. Burning the books is an blatant statement of your lack of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual relevance. It is performing an internal process externally.
Fire brings light and a way out of darkness, this fire is only bringing to light the importance of the pen, and the power of books. It only brings light to the writer’s moral commitment and social obligation, which is to instruct the world. Burning books is nothing more than an empty grandiose statement displaying an outdated ignorance; setting fire to the doubt of creatives that have ever wondered are we making an impact on the world. We write to make sense of nonsense and turn our dragons into princesses; to provide ourselves — also those that read our work — the language to confront the dragon. Whether you choose to make the necessary steps to heal or light fire to my words, I inspired action in you. The world is cluttered with dead institutions, and writing is the most inclusive private independent cultural safe haven in the country. Writing is a revolutionary act; language is our connection to the inner and outer world. The articulation of the inner world can either be a path to lead people to their inner fire or throw the books in an outer one.