Writing Across the Lines

April 22, 2014 | Tags: , , , ,

steps into fieldnotes from the Festival of Faith and Writing

I love a good question. So when I heard novelist Valerie Sayers speak at the Festival of Faith and Writing, I perked up when she asked a salient question and I’ve been carrying it around ever since.

“What kind of writer stays on only one side of a line,” she asked the roomful of writers and readers both, describing literature itself as a way of breaking out of the “territories” of one category or another in “an intense encounter with creation.”

I have often described my work – on the page and in the writing sessions I lead – as “border-crossing.” I like to weave back and forth over lines sometimes fuzzy, sometimes sharply drawn, between the secular and the religious, between one faith tradition and the next, between the this and that of different cultures, stories, times and worldviews. For me, it is the attraction of yin and yang brought together in a magnificent circle of wholeness.

I love Valerie Sayers’ suggestion that this crossing of lines and divisions is the very nature of literature, and its gift.

What are the lines you cross over, back and forth, in your writing, weaving relationship and wholeness as you do? Or what books have engaged you as a reader in crossing lines that might otherwise have held you back?

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