“…Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
I don’t know about you, but whenever I read that I imagine it being intoned by a very ominous sounding baritone. It has a morose, threatening sort of feel to it, like I’m going to die. Please allow me to present to you a more complete rendition of the quote.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a peice of the continet, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of they friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” ~John Donne, Devotions, XVII
Is that not lovely? Is that not sublime? It’s not supposed to be ominous at all, which amuses me in itself, as I always love when my preconceived ideas are dispelled in such a way. It’s not about some dread foreboding; it’s about a way to be connected to all of humanity, to be involved in such a way as to feel the loss of even one soul.
I like to think, you know, when I’m rather full of myself like I am this evening, that writing is one way in which we can achieve this. If I may clarify, it is not just in the writing but in the reading. Then it is in the discussion. Next comes those brilliant moments against the dull monotony of life when creativity pings from one mind to another, when epiphany bursts from the stray words of the semi-anonymous peer, or when you bear witness to one soul touching another through the written word.
May it happen more often. May it happen more dramatically. May it happen to you.
Happy ficlying, my friends.