“And in a quiet forest glen a peculiar loneliness echoes through the woods, calling us back to the world, to share our discoveries with others.” ~ Eliezer Shore, from “The Soul of Community”
“There comes a time in every creative endeavor when the artist must lose the vision, the author his voice—when it becomes painfully apparent that if left alone, the artist will never produce anything new, but will be forever trapped by the limitations of the craft. At that moment, there is nothing left for the writer to do but retreat from the page, from the imaginary reader who is so enticing. In the language of mysticism it is a moment of ego-annihilation. Just as a painful experience of the duality of this world forces the mystic to seek reconciliation on a higher level of reality, so the inability to truly communicate forces the writer to draw inspiration from a deeper source. It is a painfully frustrating moment—a feeling of impotence—but it is necessary, for only when space is made for a higher force to enter the creative process can something new be born. ’There are three partners in the creation of a child,’ says the Talmud, ‘the father [Chesed], the mother [Gevurah], and the Holy One, Himself.’ Only in the space between Chesed and Gevurah can words truly come alive.
If the writer can pass through these straits, can become humbled before the source of inspiration, then the words take on a different tone, for they express the soul. Words such as these can cross all boundaries, as the Sages have said: ‘Words that come from the heart, can enter a heart.’ For now two things can ever unite—be they pen and paper, or writer and reader—unless space is made for something higher to enter between them. Only in that moment of union does it become apparent that it was never the reader who constricted the writer, as had originally been thought, but the other way around: the writer’s own initial preconceptions and lack of honesty limited not only himself, but the reader’s perspective as well. Whereas words of the heart are fresh, new, and bring freedom and inspiration to all who encounter them—writer and reader alike.”
~ Eliezer Shore, from “An Author’s Challenge” in Parabola (v. 28, no. 1, February 2003)