Written during my highschool years / Geskryf gedurende my hoërskool jare: 2003-2007
PS: The automatic ‘translated’ version of this poem is majorly messed up – LOL!
Basically it speaks to the idea that our unsustainable ways of living (materialism, consumerism and the ever expanding cities) is destroying the forest in which the sprites and fairies dance. Consequently, our children will have nothing to admire, because all the beauty of the world has been lost. Their only birthright would be a barren wasteland, if we do not realise that we have to cease our needless selfish ways.
No piece of writing is worthy of destruction – yes, it may be cringe worthy, but half-formed ideas hide between the bad grammar and spelling mistakes. These precious little insights will be nourished when the water of the muses flow. Crumbs of inspiration quickly transform into beautifully composed pieces. Never throw away any article of writing you felt compelled to manifest. Place the offensive piece of ink on paper in a dark drawer if you must. Let it grow there, like a fungus. Soon there will come a time when these little writer’s blights will provide the antidote to writer’s block.
A fitting lighthearted post to start the new year. A drabble is a 100-word writing piece, which explains a concept fully. So, for my own amusement I decided to take up the challenge, maybe even dabble in a bit of drabble more regularly on this blog. Drabbling is quite appealing to me, because I think that we take ourselves far too seriously at times, trying to communicate ideas over tediously long-winded articles. Perhaps we should remain focused on the matter at hand, only relying on the concept itself in order to fully preserve the essence of our message, and cause.
These five words are what popped into my head during a creative writing exercise back in high-school during English class. It has been sitting in my writing journal ever since, but I always wondered as to the validity of such a statement. Is it not rather a statement of half-truth (or for that matter a half-lie)? Because, I don’t think absolute nonsense always comes from ignorance. Thus, it can only be applied to specific circumstances.
For example, it reminds me of a story that my high-school Biology teacher told us (repeatedly…): When you grab two biologists, blindfold them and stick them in front of an elephant, which neither scientists had ever seen before – how would they describe an elephant? One biologist has the elephant by the leg and exclaims: “An elephant is like a tree trunk!”. The other has ahold of its nose and declares: “This creature is like an earthworm!”, or snake, I can’t remember exactly. So here one can argue that nonsense was indeed the result of their ignorance, or rather their limited knowledge of the animal known as the elephant.
Another example would be that Jenny had never heard of the folk tale that when you touch a frog you will get warts. One day Jenny finds a frog in her kitchen that has wondered through the backdoor from the garden. Upon seeing the frog, brave Jenny simply scoops up the squishy amphibian and promptly returns it to the garden where she releases it into the herb patch. Here, Jenny was not afraid of the frog, but rather showed a great amount of kindness towards it by returning Mr. Frog to his home. In this instance, the statement can almost be turned on its head, as to say: “Absolute kindness comes from ignorance”. Is that then not more preferable? That kindness is the result of ignorance rather than nonsense? Unless you associate kindness with nonsense, which would be quite depressing…
Therefore, I think that this statement is an example of one that should be applied in the right context. Most of us can agree that we always perceive ignorance as a bad state to be in. A state we have all experienced at one point in time, even more often then we would like to admit. Instead of associating ignorance with nonsense, should we not rather associate it with kindness? So the next time we find ourselves in an situation of which we are ignorant, and in realising this, maybe we should opt for a gentle act or a word of kindness. Even if it holds some imaginary personal risk.
An opinion piece about writing from the perspective of a Scientist. I have always loved wiring, this piece I wrote back in 2011 during my Genetics studies.
A Scientist’s View on Writing
For a researcher, there are two forms of writing. The language of science; precise, concise and boring, and the other of creative; with embellishments, illustrations and fiction. Yet as avid writers of the one, rarely having the opportunity to indulge in the other, we forget one crucial point of writing: the command of language.
Not purely science nor exclusively fiction, but the ability to excite and entice both writer and reader. At school, they teach us how to write placing emphasis on grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. To command means to create power and meaning in each sentence and to persuade with every paragraph. This is why all writers should not only know how to write, but should also command the medium they choose.
And I discovered the most incredible thing. The Big Lie was a lie. A person could learn how to write because I was learning.
James Scott Bell, Plot and Structure
Plot and Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish. James Scott Bell. (2004). Writer’s Digest Books, Ohio