“It rains on the living and the dead, mama, only the dead have better umbrellas.”
- Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin
On paper, things are different, I’ve found. A story needs plot, clarity, contrast, symbolism, arc, credibility, intrigue, motive. Things only your English teacher could define.
But in life, beauty is simpler. We have sights, smells, impulses. A dog’s head in your lap. The ruffling of a pretty girl’s dress. Cold air in your lungs. Beauty, to us, is confined to the senses. And yet we spend our lives hopelessly worshiping the abstract of plot. The impossibility of structure. The machinations of a dissatisfied pen.
Beauty doesn’t need a punch line.
Don’t let the subtle slip away.