09 June, 2009

What A Piece Of Work Is Man

The process of writing my novel, “Finding Emmāus”, of creating and then developing each and every one of its characters, made me think deeply about what I write, about what is vitally important in my stories, made me truly evaluate what goes on in the deepest, most secretive parts of human personalities, the differences and the nuances from one human to another. Their actions, reactions and interactions with other characters within the story had to be consistent with their personalities throughout the book. I had to learn to really look at what makes people ‘tick’.

And in the process, I learned as much about me as I did about them - perhaps more…

I've always known that life is precious, just as I've always believed human beings to be resilient creatures. But life is also a fragile thing and prior to this time (prior to writing “Finding Emmāus”) I never truly appreciated just how fragile.

I never really thought about what went on inside the walls of a hideous place like Bethlem Royal Hospital in the 17th century, or what the original settlers of this country went through when they lived day to day knowing their survival tomorrow quite literally depended upon every minute they spent today - - if they couldn’t make it or grow it or trade with the Native Americans for it, they did without it.

But I also know this: life, even in its most profoundly tragic moments, gives us a break - as in the way we humans will fondly recount an amusing story about a recently-lost loved one, even at a funeral.

Fragile and resilient, heroic and terrible, determined and pitiable - Hamlet had it right when he said “What a piece of work is man!”

Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved


  1. Pamela,

    As I was working on a memoir, found that the process of writing helped me learn new things about myself. I wrote in one of my notes:

    I have decided that one does not write because he has something to say, but because he has something to discover.


  2. Very interesting work here. Best wishes for your success. I met you on Twitter. Hope you will visit and comment on my page too. Gary Eby, author and therapist.

  3. This is a beautiful post Pamela. Life is precious and fragile and many other things too. We are blessed as writers to be able to learn so much about it as we do what we love and I think at times we are able to get closer to what life really is because of what we do.

    Thanks for a great post.