I was reading Frederick Buechner this morning and he was talking about Art. All Art, not just the visual.
As an author, he was talking most about literature and its ability to take a simple event or action and frame it in such a way that we actually notice it. The main example he used was the Japanese haiku by Basho about the frog.
An old silent pond
Into the pond a frog jumps.
Splash! Silence again.
If we were simply walking by it is most likely that we would never have noticed the frog, far less stopped to wonder.
There is a kind of magic in the way that great literature can take ordinary, unimportant events and frame them in such a way that we can see great depth, and even great truth. It forces us to notice the ordinary in the lives of the characters we meet and, according to Buechner, perhaps that enables us to notice more in our own lives.
It is such a joy to watch as students experience this for the first time. It is one of the things that makes me keep wanting to do it.
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