It occurred to me then that I will never be the writer Neil is.
I brooded on that a moment and it came to me:
If God wanted me to be another Neil, he would have made him twins, right? :-)
So I guess we all will have to strive to be the best writer we can be in our own right.
Yesterday, I also wrote on the importance of fiction and its heroes.
Neil ... I can call you Neil can't I? You've shared some of my best times with me after all.
Neil in his non-fiction book asked its readers:
"Why do we need the things in books?
Stories are lies after all, tales of people who never existed and the things that never actually happened to them.
Why should we read them? Why should we care?
Fiction gives us empathy:
It puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes.
Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over."
Samuel McCord in my DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE speaks of the same thing:
We live in an ocean and hours are the islands, linked in ways we cannot imagine while we are traveling one from the other. It is only in looking back that we can see the path we took … and whether it was a wise one or not.
The Lakota call God the Great Mystery. I do, too. I am a man or I once was. What I am now is a mystery to me. And maybe to the Great Mystery as well.
But men are creatures who tell stories. This is a gift from the Great Mystery, who spoke our species into being, but left the end of our story untold. Perhaps that is why the Lakota call Him The Great Mystery. Anyway, that mystery troubles us. How could it not? Without the final part, how are we supposed to make sense of all that went before: which is to say, our lives?
So we make stories of our own, in stumbling imitation of our Maker, hoping that we'll tell, by chance, what God left untold. And in finishing our tale, come to understand why we were born. Maybe it will work. Maybe not. Only the Great Mystery knows, and He comes by His name naturally.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?