|A good image for a flourishing mind...|
by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
for Maze of Blood
One of the stranger things about Genesis is that God is shown making the universe, and at its end the universe is good. In fact, very good. But it's not faultless. Genesis never claims such a thing. The universe is order drawn out of chaos. But it's not order drawn all the way out of chaos.
Without some chaos and change, new things would not rise up as time passes. Evolution would never happen. Some elements of perfection sound very attractive. Volcanoes would not erupt, tsunamis not spill over the earth. We wouldn't have to write books about why bad things happen to good people. Perhaps little would happen to anybody, but the world would be tidy and orderly and safe.
Or perhaps the world would be fully anti-narrative and nothing at all would ever occur. Perfection is static. The order of made things grows out of the soil and ferment of chaos.
A book or a poem (not Creation with a big C but a little-c sub-creation) aspires to perfection, aspires to bring order out of chaos. No one can create perfection, and I imagine a writer might just stop if he or she reached perfection in a work. A book or poem also aspires to do something new in the world, though most stories and poems do not.
And who are the best poems and books for? (Here I am skipping the au courant, the trendy, the passing fancies, the bestseller rages--they have their reward!) Are they written for readers? Not exactly, though words are a siren call sent out to readers who bob by in their little ships. At its best, a poem is made from a springing desire that is beyond words but becomes incarnate in words. A novel or other long work is a mixture of conscious decision and labor and that same springing desire which comes and goes like a will o' the wisp.
The new small-c creation may find readers if the work is good or very good but also if the work has luck and a push toward visibility. Then reader and the writer may at last unite, the reader creating in mind a singular, personal version of the work...