It is quite amazing to see how much of an effect The Parallax has had on everyone that has read it, and how it helped people realize the “power of writing”. I have always enjoyed writing. Back in high school, my favorite classes were english/literature classes. The disappointing thing about college is that there aren’t very many classes that allow us to freely and creatively write. The disappointing thing about many people today, is that writing is a lost art. Many people don’t realize that writing is the basis for many other things such as music, lyrics, theater, and movies. It is people’s ability to write freely and creatively that allow these things to come together. It is discouraging that today people no longer enjoy writing, and reading as well. It is important for us to stress to future generations that writing is a great way to express oneself and control one’s emotions and worries. One great thing about free writing, is that it allow you to go back and re-read your thoughts and feelings and “re-live” them if you please. This is why I find writing to be such a powerful way of expressing yourself.
The Parallax, a story within a story within a story, tells many different things. Most importantly, it tells us how much people suffer unnecessarily, simply because they fail to grasp other perspectives than their own. Frank Beck misinterprets the situation surrounding his father’s death so that he will walk through life with the guilt of being responsible for it. Frank Beck also misinterprets the situation when his wife’s illness becomes apparent only to establish a marital disconnect that will last for decades. One could say that much sorrow comes from misinterpreting the expressions and reactions of others. Communication with others receives an additional meaning – it should serve as provider of multiple angles at the same setting. Someone else’s viewpoint can rectify much, just as can introspection (does it have to be written?). As a result we may leave old and obsolete positions. The story shows us that this is frequently prompted by events that overwhelm us with emotions. I’m convinced that events of much, much smaller scale than 9/11 can trigger us to discover the parallax!
The Parallax is an intriguing story that provokes the mind into a different way of thinking. A way of thinking that actually involves writing; writing about your feelings, thoughts, and actions. Each of the characters in the book discovered the healing power of writing. As an author, William Allen White used this “power” to grieve over the loss of his daughter and to come to the understanding that life in words has so much meaning. I found it very interesting that such a simple thing as writing down the thoughts from your mind could be so powerful. Many people keep journals but who really lets their mind take over and allows themself to write continuously? For me, this was a hard concept to grasp. Today, most people, including myself, have a million things on their mind every minute. Letting my mind just relax and to try and forget about my worries for the day provided much more of a challenge than I thought it would. A challenge that I am ready to take on so I can feel for myself the benefits of the written word. I have only partaken in this adventure a few times so far and already I am feeling the healing benefits of it. When I sit down to write, I let all the thoughts in my head flow onto paper and instantly I feel better. Somehow, seeing all my worries and thoughts on paper make them seem less daunting to me because my mind is no longer exaggerating them into concepts that are bigger than reality. I feel refreshed and like the characters in the book, a weight is being lifted off my shoulders. I strongly encourage those of you contemplating starting this adventure to go with your instincts and take on this initiative. Without a doubt, I believe you will feel more connected with yourself and with others around you.
Everyone knows the feeling but as adults, we have learned to hide our emotional scars, leaving jagged timelines in our lives, discarding moments we choose not to confront, leaving relationships that we’ve allowed to be damaged. The writers of ABC’s hit series, Lost, recognized the universality of this feeling as they layered metaphor upon metaphor, week after week. The series captured viewers’ shared emotions, defying the possibility of anyone being able to verbalize the show’s meaning. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to deconstruct a feeling. Can anyone really find words to describe fear, longing, regret, or remorse?
Dr. Katherine Stein, a character in The Parallax, recognizes this fact when she asks everyone in her workshop to think with the story, instead of about it. The real question, when examining our stories is not, “What’s this story about?” The real question is more difficult to put into words and can only be answered with an affective analysis, connecting feelings of chaos, confusion, and fear that characterize our lives as we search for restitution and forgiveness.
Singer Bryan Adams touches on this need in his hit song, Please Forgive Me. We spend our lives trying to get things right, but often, as a result of our imperfections, we fail. We make mistakes. We hurt and we are hurt. We yearn for restitution, wanting to reconnect but fear failure. We are left with inaction and ineffectiveness. We live in a world that has taught us to discard those things that are broken. Sadly we have forgotten how to fix things. But it’s possible to reclaim those discarded moments. Real forgiveness requires sincere reflection which can be achieved through self-awareness, self-direction, and self-control. Take your life back. Determine what’s important to you and make choices based on those values—you’ll be glad you did.