Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To the Woods

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

--Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I spent some time at the Oregon/Washington border last weekend, a beautiful area called the Columbia River Gorge.  I'd forgotten how it feels to be submerged in nature, green shoots above and around, teeming life underfoot.  Blue sky, crystalline air, every shade of green.  Cities have their own feel--concrete, scurrying humanity, shiny surfaces, laughter and food smells seeping from warm rooms. 

In my novel The Qualities of Wood, the sense of place was important to me.  The characters were displaced from their normal urban surrounds and forced to confront nature, their natures.  I wanted it to feel as if the line of trees behind their country house, the looming woods, was another character in the story, with its own transient mood, its own opinions and observations.

If you're a creator of does your environment inspire you?  Does it shape your work? 


Post a Comment

"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka