I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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Caleb Powell is a husband and father who lives in Edmonds, Washington, where he coaches his daughters’ basketball and soccer teams. His middle daughter claims she will dunk the ball one day. The Seneca Review recently published the first chapters of his nonfiction book.
“You can’t have freedom of religion without free speech. You have to protect all of it: the Bible and the Quran and my right to say, ‘These books are full of fairy tales.’ ”
My point is that good writers are after the truth. We’re trying to draw the blood from real life and use it to make the words come alive, and that kind of alchemical process can be, you know, hazardous. But if you don’t get into trouble, if you don’t gamble, if you don’t present a sticky situation, if you’re not facing a monster, then you’re simply not going to be interesting, from a commercial or an artistic point of view. If you want to make a difference and stand out, you’re obliged to sound the depths.