Here we are at that rolling time of the year when we are besieged by lists of the best, the ten best, the hundred best. But in these covid years—and alas, it is plural—the best is to still be here, and to bless that fact, and share it with those we love.
For writers, among those we love, are those we never see or hear from, indeed, know little about, our readers. Yet, they sustain us, both spiritually and materially. We writers are inventors and tellers of stories and hope those stories mean something to others.
Why do writers tell stories? I think it’s to make sense of the world, their world, and their readers’ world. My favorite metaphor for writers comes from the late Donald Hall, poet, writer, former poet laureate.
I am sure I set it down before, but I think it’s worth repeating. He said,
“The writer’s job is to write what is rather like the letter O. But he/she writes the letter C—with a gap. If that gap is too wide the reader cannot bridge it. If it is too close, there is no need for the reader to do anything. But if that gap is just right, the reader fills it with her/his own experience and the writer’s circle is complete.”
To all of you who help fill my gaps (and even those that don’t), here’s wishing you a joyful holiday and the best of years to come.