best metaphysical fiction of the year
STORIES that stretch your mind
The Best Metaphysical Fiction of the year from Thresholds Quarterly
"A story is like water
that you heat for
It takes messages
between the fire
and your skin. It lets
and it cleans you!
Rumi, Sufi mystic & poet
We share with you fine writing.
Words meant to stir your conscience, to provoke opinion. Pictures set to music, coming alive with the caress of another mind. Creatures that remind us of someone we have known, perhaps even ourselves. Events that may never arise in our outward lives yet are vaguely familiar like a dream half remembered. What a great gift, this capacity to think deeply and translate those musings for another to receive. What a great power, to touch a strangers consciousness in ways that cause him or her to remember, to consider, to imagine.
In a letter dated 21 May 1807, William Wordsworth described it this way, Never forget what I believe was observed to you by Coleridge, that every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great and original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished.
The interaction between writer and reader depends upon the pairing. A good writer enthralls his reader feeding our senses through the most powerful sense of all, our minds. He becomes a taste we want to satisfy again, and again, and again.
The taste goes beyond personal preference, for we can find a writing offensive, horrifying, as quickly as we deem it charming, nurturing. Taste is spellbinding, its roots not of this earth but of a more celestial origin. Good writing wraps universal principles in pigtails and hoop skirts, armor and spears. Good writing is a response to the souls bidding. In a l8l9 letter, John Keats described how this taste is created. I have come to this resolution - never to write for the sake of writing, or making a poem, but from running over with any little knowledge or experience which many years of reflection may perhaps give me - otherwise I shall be dumb. Abundance, not poverty, makes a good writer. And isnt that true of every expression in life, be it king or pauper, beauty or beast, brilliant or dull?
A good writer causes us to see through her eyes, hear with her ears. Her experience becomes our own and so we smell and taste and touch as one body. We unite our consciousness with hers and for those moments of reading we are not alone. We are connected - writer and reader - in a bond that transcends others. It cannot be broken by another, only perhaps momentarily interrupted then we return to this world of imagery where we transform scratches on a page into four dimensional life forms of incomparable beauty or shocking evil. As a reader we know the writer because we have spent time in his mind. And we have allowed him to spend time in ours, rearranging the furniture, clearing cobwebs, and letting in the fresh outdoor air.
Fiction, as it is known, is a great mirror for our existence. A reflection of our best and our worst, of what is and what can be. It teaches us through allegory or metaphor or symbology. Fiction is a product of our imagination, images intended to stay in the area of mind stuff for it is there that they do their work. When accepted and coupled with our memory we can produce the resolve to make something happen in our own experience, to bring thought to life.
In order to move a mountain we must first be able to get beyond the idea that it is there. We must begin to imagine something different from what exists.
The same can be said of Heaven.
So take a part of a rainy afternoon. Curl up in a welcoming blanket in your favorite do-not-disturb spot. And drink these diverse brews. As Immanuel Kant noted, Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination.
copyright 2002 School of Metaphysics
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