Long ago I heard that the best writing came from the wound. Often times when that came back to mind I wondered what was the wound really? Did it have to be a pain in my life, or was pain more of a general term? Heartache for others seemed more legitimate but writing about it rather intrusive.
Where is the line drawn of asking people about their pain? Do we ask because we care, or is it because we simply want to delve into peoples lives and know what creates them into the people they are at that moment?
Two days ago I sat in a crowded theatre and watched Steven Spielberg’s new film, Munich. Halfway through five of the eight teenage boys sitting next to me walked out. Ten minutes later the rest left as well. Were they bored? Bored of someone else’s pain? Was there too much blood or too much reality? This blood wasn’t attractive, the hatred depicted too real and the story one that could almost be moved to the city we live in. Perhaps that is why we leave the pain of others for stories. Their pain is too close to our own and their agony something we know from our own lives.
I watched the film with heart wrenching understanding of something I was unfamiliar. Their experience wasn’t my own, nor have I ever looked on someone I hated. But I understood and accepted the pain, and it moved me. It affected me and two days later I can’t stop thinking of the film.
Is it because my city internally wars? Am I afraid of that retaliation? The one giving a knowledge that for years we lived with the ‘eye for an eye’ mentality and bombs still some days hang in the back of our minds? Or is it simply knowing that even in fiction there is a bit of the truth? Truth that all it takes for someone to care is that moment of understanding, the moment when fiction becomes our own personal truth.