While working with a playwright at The Writer Workshop in Savannah, we found ourselves having a discussion about planting seeds in our work.
We offer clues early in the text about where we’re headed, about where our audience will travel, about where our characters will encounter challenge and growth. The seeds might be tiny, just a color or a detail or a thought or a word. The reader or viewer or listener might not even notice the subtle inclusion of a name or a reference, they may never ever discover the connection of that symbol or theme or repeated word. But, it’s in there, it’s in their brains.
I think we’re always planting seeds. We’re always setting up our lives with our own themes…the things we love, the music we embrace, the people we surround ourselves with. We’re usually not thinking about the future, but those symbols and themes of our life as represented by past actions are part of who we are–often bigger than we even realize.
While putting stevia in my iced tea, my husband, who was ready to leave the restaurant said, “I’m just waiting for you to finish your rituals.”
That’s it exactly, isn’t it. Our repetitions and rituals are how how continue to plant the seeds for our future. And, if we’re to grow and change, we must plant new seeds in new places. Break up our routines. Try new things…and, yet, some of our rituals stay right where they are because they work or still work for us.
Does everything in life need to have meaning? Does every word we write need to hold symbol and theme? Or, do we discover these themes and symbols in second and third drafts?
I don’t really have an answer. But, for today, I’ll put another stevia in my iced tea and trust that clarity of action will come later if it’s important.