There is a rhythm to the writing, and there is a rhythm to the reading. The writer through the language places words, phrases, paragraphs onto the page, much as a musician writes his or her music and then sends it out to the world for listeners to enjoy. When I am writing, I am not aware of the rhythm. I am manipulating the language, but its rhythm comes from instinct, not from controlled purpose. When I am reading, I am not aware of the rhythm; it is only when I’ve put away the book and reflect on it that the rhythm, or lack of it, becomes apparent.
Not long ago, I read a novel and in the first two chapters, I had the urge to put away the book; something just wasn’t right. But curiosity kept me reading to the third chapter, then the fourth, and somewhere along the way, I tapped into the rhythm of the writer’s words and began to enjoy the book. I thought, I’m so glad I didn’t put the book away, or I’d have missed this waltz between writer and reader. I thought back to other books I’ve read when I’ve almost stopped reading, but when I kept on, I’d soon find I enjoyed the experience—not always, but many times. I simply needed to fall in step with the writer, one two three, one two three, one two three…
The writer has no awareness of how in-tuned we are to one another in the moment of my reading his or her words. He doesn’t know I am swaying in time, lifting up then setting down, dipping, rising falling—our dance. The writer and I have never been closer and I wish I could tell her, turn my head, look up into her face, say the words, “Your words have affected me, or moved me, or made me laugh, or entertained me, or made me think.” The characters dance along with us, apparitions who become solid and real through the sure hand of his writing, the hand at my back that guides me here there here there, to places and events and people.
When I put down the book I am reading, I have to re-orient myself to space and time, to the silence in the room, the absence of character, language, song—rhythm, and I can’t wait until tomorrow night when Writer and I meet again, when the writer will take me in his or her arms and move me about the room. We are perfect partners: writer and reader.
I have this hope, that when others read my work they feel the rhythm with me, that I lead them through the beauty of the language, that together we dance. That they stay with me until we are the perfect partner: Writer and Reader.
What about you? Do you feel that rhythm when you read, or when you write?
(the next stop on my blog tour will be Janna's Place . . . I hope you've gone by and wrote a hello to the other wondeful blog friends who have hosted me -thank you!)