I don’t know about you, but this time of year tends to lend itself to reflection. Perhaps it’s the whole rush toward Christmas and the ensuing recognition that once more the mystery and meaning has been lost or, at least, short-changed. Maybe the approaching year-end is the reason with its natural beginning and end and beginning once again rotation. Whatever the reason, images and moments and people float and shimmer along my mental paths as one day turns to the next. As a writer each one becomes another opportunity to capture the intangible and, in a mad rush of optimism, begin the exploration of a new literary life in the shape and form of a story or, perhaps, an essay. We do this, I think, in the hope that we may have some revelation or glean some small whit of wisdom along the way.
As serendipity often happens, I picked up a book that opened with the following quote:
We come to terms as well as we can with our lifelong exposure to the world, and we use whatever devices we may need to survive. But eventually, of course, our knowledge depends upon the living relationship between what we see going on and ourselves. If exposure is essential, still more so is the reflection. Insight doesn’t happen often on the click of the moment like a lucky snapshot, but comes in its own time and more slowly and from nowhere but within. The sharpest recognition is surely that which is charged with sympathy as well as shock–it is a form of human vision. — Eudora Welty
So it would appear that if we are to have any insight at all, reflection is a necessary state of mind.