There can be something wholly seductive about writing. It can be so for the writer as well as the reader.
On the writing side, you are often unsure as to where your story will go. For example, this post, can at any time, veer away from my honest intention. I am in a constant state of anticipation and determination — desiring a certain word or direction but also perilously close to letting my ideas take a new, random way. Yet when I began this post, I knew where I wanted it to go … I just don’t yet know how to get there.
The writers I admire are brave beyond measure. They write with a ferocity that seers my eyes. They tell me the truths that others would keep secret. And they share the preciousness of their world in ways that invite us all in. Some of these writers are aware of the striptease that they invite us into; others work into it, becoming aware over time; and a final group play at striptease but become too self-conscious and laugh it off. But make no mistake. There is both art and desire in all these forms.
Though I am sure he would be horrified at the suggestion, Russell Davies is a master of striptease. His ideas flirt outrageously with the front row readers of his blog, hinting at something richer, more intense and just slightly out of reach. Suddenly, with a glance to the left, another thought careers across our line of vision and we are caught watching, gaping, panting. How does he do it? How does he sustain it?
Just take a look at his long work-in-progress posts on upcoming presentations. Watch how he starts slowly, drawing us in with provocation, gentle prodding and (what is that?) a purr … there are images, juxtapositions, finely arrayed graphics and a clever smile. But at the end, we find we get MORE than we bargained for … because for Russell, it is not just the tease, it is the full strip. He willingly pares down his ideas in front of our eyes. He shows the steps necessary to make it work. He shares, generously, the experience and ingenuity that has made him a leader in his field. And he does this with good grace.
This week, Russell’s openness and community spirit was put on trial. He was stripped bare at a time and in a way that was not of his own choosing. The nakedness hurt. But it didn’t stop him posting his reaction to it. And while I understand needing to hide for a while, I hope that he is soon back … feather boas and all.
Update: I forgot that my friend, Marcus Brown, is very angry about this. And with good reason … especially if these sorts of attacks become yet another way of censoring the ideas and collaborative efforts of others.