Creativity and Death from Ruth Ozeki

“I think there's a powerful link between creativity and death. We make things because we lose things: memories, people we love, and ultimately our very selves. Our acts of creation are ways of grappling with death: we imagine it, struggle to make sense of it, forestall or defeat it. When I sat down to write this essay, I realized that all my work–in film or on the page–has ultimately been about dying, and I know I'm not alone. These media are, quite literally, mediums, the means of traveling to the other shore. They are our imaginative transport to the land of the dead. We learn things there, and then return what we learn to the living. This journey is undertaken by anyone who has ever told stories, from Homer, to Dante, to Elizabeth Bishop. To tell stories is to practice of the art of losing.”– from “The Art of Losing: On Writing, Dying, & Mom” by Ruth Ozeki in Shambhala Sun March 2008 p. 73

 

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