Sunday, August 8, 2021

Making Something From Nothing

With company in town last weekend, I took some time off from my computer and spent a few days enjoying my adopted state of North Carolina. One of the places we stopped at was the Ball Garden at the Sandhills Community College, where an art installation had been erected several weeks ago and was causing quite the buzz. By weaving together different sized branches and sticks, rooms were created out of nothing.


Complete with windows and doors, these various cubicles towered over us. They were quite unique and wonderful, which got me to thinking about my writing and how similar it is to this art form. 


What's that, you say? How can sticks and twigs possibly be the same as words and paragraphs?

It's very simple. The artist of this stick room creation had an idea. He or she probably sketched out a configuration of the completed work. Then, they started construction, weaving all their piles of twigs and branches together to form a completed room. And, unless I miss my guess, some of these rooms didn't turn out exactly as envisioned, but the end result was a sturdy and striking structure that is quite beautiful in its originality. 

So, too with writing. We start with an idea, and maybe put together an outline of how we imagine the work taking shape. Then, we start the construction of each paragraph, forming chapters to weave the piles of words and sentences into a cohesive unit that's sturdy, striking and quite beautiful. And, unless I miss my guess on this, too, the outline and the finished product vary to some degree, since stories have a way of veering off as they're being written, and bending at points different from what we originally envisioned. In the end, both this art installation and a new manuscript were created out of nothing. 

Then, to top off a perfectly delightful experience, I got to play with my favorite sculpture of all time. I'll have to get away from the computer more often. 


  1. I love the kids sculpture. You fit right in. :)

    1. It's my favorite place to be. I'm still a kid at heart, as are we all...