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We write to express ourselves, but we also write to connect. Connection is a primary human need. From cave dwellers onward, we scratched our message into stone, hoping that it would be read and understood. As we became more adroit at expression, the messages that we sent became more complex. “I am here and you are there,” our messages began, meaning, our relationship to each other. From there, we went on to express our feelings. “I am here and you are there, and this is how I feel about that.” As time progressed, our messages grew in complexity. We became better able to express nuances and shades of meaning. In time, we were able to connect with great accuracy, and we experienced this connection with relief.
The human urge to bond was the driving force behind our messages. Our connection became every day matter of fact as we expressed ourselves more and more fully. The urge to connect remains a paramount human desire. “I am here and you are there, and we are in this world together.” We write to acknowledge and strengthen our bond. Our connection is primal.
As artists, we must also connect with other artists. We connect through our art, and we connect artist-to-artist. I am reading a novel, Rio Bardo, written by my friend Logan Sven Peterson. The book is rich in flora and fauna, showcasing Logan’s eye for detail. Yesterday I ran into Logan unexpectedly. “I’m halfway through your book,” I told him. “You’re a wonderful writer.”
He flushed at the compliment, explaining that it always meant a lot to him to know that someone was reading his words. We write to express ourselves. We write to connect.