THE SOUL IS THE GUTTER

FIVE DAYS IN MARCH

DAY 10

I don’t care if the group survives.

I don’t care about groups or following the leader.

All leaders are flawed. They just don’t care if they’re flawed and seemingly neither do their followers, because they’re flawed too.

The difference lies in the followers caring about their own flaws yet liking it when they see that somebody else doesn’t care about h/her own flaws. It’s a personal power they recognize, but don’t share.

It’s an admiral quality – to a point. Both are admiral qualities: one not caring and one caring while admiring one who doesn’t.

So where do you go with this knowledge? What do you do with it?

Do you focus on the point, where one side doesn’t care enough and the other side honors that trait, while not accepting that trait in themselves? A little complicated don’t you think? And who could get that sentence right in the middle of the night working past a self-imposed deadline?

And who cares anyway? Once you get that sentence right, there’s no more to story about. (Yeah, I’m using story as a verb).

Focus on improving yourself. And forget about everybody else.

Sure tell your story. Everybody likes stories. But instead of placing yourself into somebody else’s gutter and making that the focus, rise from your own ashes. You’ve got ashes – everybody has ashes. We’re made of ash, so yes I am a rock, not a dumb one though. I never thought of a rock as dumb. I don’t know who did and how it spread, but rocks in my life are preTTy cool.

At the heart of every story I ever read lies pity.

S/he did this to me, that’s why I am the way I am.

Life did this to me, that’s why I am the way I am.

I did this to me, that’s why I am the way I am.

You bore the world with your born-again pity stories. Start over. There’s a start-place that you left out. The better place.

Leave the bad stuff out. We all know the bad stuff. We share that in common just by being human, by being an animal, by being in the constant need of re-training, advanced-training, any-kind-of-training to overcome all that we became because of someone else, because of some condition, event, fluke, planned, unplanned, circumstance in our past, present, beyond – our – control.

Otherwise we would have done things right to make them come out right, yet we didn’t even know what we wanted. Right? So give it up. Nobody cares. They watch boring movies and read boring books because there’s nothing else to do. We all do it.

Sharing your pain with someone who has the same pain doesn’t help them nor you – even though you both claim it does help. No, it keeps you both crying. And when you finally stop, you never want to see each other again.

You don’t have to break your reader down and build your reader back up into your likeness in order for them to enjoy your work.

Keep the good stuff in without dragging somebody else through the mud.

Does such a story exist?

Sure it does. We all them – in case you look for familiarity to form a bond, which we all do. Stop calling them feel-good stories. Don’t you determine before I read something or view something what I’m supposed to feel. How arrogant and controlling. That’s not art. That’s the beginning of torture.

Tell a sad story and you’re told, ‘everybody has war stories’, in other words we don’t need to hear yours too.

Tell a happy story and you’re told, ‘oh the same thing happened to my uncle then he died’, or they walk away rolling their eyes, because they see you as bragging over something they don’t have, yet they do, everybody has happy stories. They just don’t focus on them as being happy. They’ve gotten so far into everybody else’s gutter that their gutter is pretty much empty. In more words than necessary, they live through others and don’t like it – no matter the story.

They want their own story.

So give the customer what s/he wants.

Just as you know how to ‘pull the heart strings’, you also know how to ‘raise the spirit’.

Why? Because you have a heart and you have a soul.

The soul is the gutter.

You don’t need to be dull to do it. Be accurate. The most powerful stories are those which lack embellishment, absent the reader saying it lacks embellishment. No one believes you when you say that in the preface of a work.

So what are you doing?

Get to work.

 

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight






 

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