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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Construct With Memory

“It may be that place can focus the gigantic, voracious eye of genius and bring its gaze to point. Focus then means awareness, discernment, order, clarity, insight—they are like the attributes of love. … Indeed, as soon as the least of us stands still, that is the moment something extraordinary is seen to be going on in the world.”   Eudora Welty

When memory is focused on place it has the potential to thread several character and plot threads throughout the story. As with Amy Cantrell, in Bridging Two Hearts by Michelle Ule, she has clear insight as to the emotional pain causing her practical dilemma. However she assumes she can tough out the situation without actually addressing the heart issue. She keeps attacking and failing. Until she stands still from the memory and then the extraordinary happens.

For Central Park Rendezvous, the memory of place threads through multiple stories and several characters weaving a variety of awareness depending on the narrator. As the letters work back in time, the gaze upon the bridge becomes more and more focused for the readers, enabling them to see its impact before the characters themselves. We stand on tiptoe whenever the bridge enters a story, waiting in anticipation. And we are not disappointed. We groan with frustration at the conflicts and sigh with satisfaction at the connections. Our personal memories loop into the narrative. We are drawn in by the close-up.

Journal Prompt:

            Take an important place for your character and make a list according to Eudora Welty’s quote above. Just as attributes of love can be expressed in different ways show how the focus on your character’s place can be a gaze of awareness, discernment, clarity, order and insight.

Share: Which one impacted her/his heart as extraordinary?

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