A Little Perspective From Tom Church

Today is testing day for Sophomores and Freshmen. So that means, naturally, that the course of my day must be interrupted. My classes are tweaked to strange lengths of time that make no sense, and are very antagonizing. I have nothing to do. I sit here and jot on a notepad what I’d like for my birthday party, which is in less than a month. So far, I’ve only got the theme: reptiles.

Yeah, just kidding. The theme will be ‘fun,’ like it always is. Or sometimes is.

I sit here, listening to “Midnight City” by M83, and think: man, it’d be great if I could get locked in a room with a typewriter about now. Maybe then, I’d put a dent in my novel.

But I can’t. All my strange, literate fantasies never come true. It sucks to be so societally tied to responsibilities that we can’t do what we want to do. I think that’s a pretty major flaw in today’s world, don’t you think? We spend all our lives working something that, depending, we may or may not want to do, just to end up retiring and having one-seventh of our life to do a frugal amount of what we wanted to do all along.

Note to self: pick a job you like.

I think I’ve always ‘ranked’ things in my mind. For example, I rank the color red as number one on a list of all the colors. However, red is in no way my favorite color. It’s just a color. I like yellow, because it means happiness. But that’s like, fourth or something.

Similarly, on a list of all the professions in the world, writing is first. Followed by… well, I haven’t finished the list. Maybe firefighting, it doesn’t really matter what comes next.

I have a reason that writing comes first, though, and a reason for these ranks is quite rare. But here it is:

Writing is everything that we have.

Picture a huge venn diagram with millions of intersecting circles. The circle in the middle is labelled “writing” or “communication,” or better yet, “expression.”

My dad asked me once why I chose writing as what I wanted to do. It was always so obvious to me that writing was my first choice, but I really never mentally elaborated on why. Later, I had a small revelation that brought me to the basis of my reasoning:

Specializing in biology means you specialize in biology. Specializing in physics means that you specialize in physics. But will these biologists and physicists ever be able to truly articulate the extent of their findings? Possibly not. Quite possibly, these people will speak the language of their occupation, which is stifled compared to that of the English language.

I believe that, as a writer, it would be my duty to incorporate everything I know into my work, and do so in a way that everyone could easily appreciate and understand. This means what I know about biology, and physics. And art, and music, and the behaviors of Sumerian peoples from thousands of years ago. And things I invent and make the hell up.

Biologists study biology, and physicists study mathematical applications. Writers study everything.

I want to know everything, and I know that’s irrational. But that’s what I want. My idea of heaven would be to know everything for what it is, to know all the aspects and the features of it all.

That yearning I feel may possess some degree of naivete, but I see no harm in understanding the universe for what it is. Writers try understanding in ways more creative, comprehensive, and even practical than scientists and theorists. Writers are philosophers.

And fiction or non-fiction, we create the universe the way we want to see it.

aestheism, not atheism.

[P.S. WordPress gave me this quote after I’d written this post out, as an incentive to write more:

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”
-Gustave Flaubert ]


Comments on: "Gustave Flaubert’s Take On It (Thom’s Thoughts)" (1)

  1. noreallyimserious said:

    Tom, I love this. I know you’ll be an amazing writer one day. I know that.

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