by Terri Wagner
There are things in our lives that exemplify the universal law of opposition. I experienced one such event this past weekend. Gustav came to visit. While he made landfall many miles away, his feeder bands as they are called, visited my Gulf Coast region. In fact, even today, we are still having some wind and rain.
Yesterday, a friend and I went down to Gulf Shores. It was wonderful and scary at the same time. The wind was blowing so hard, the sand literally stung you; the waves were awesome (particularly since our little piece of the Gulf of Mexico is usually too tame and too warm this time of year to be considered anything but bathwater); the sky was blue, black and white all at the same time; and several people were out with cameras; and yes, a few actually at the edge of the water.
It was breathtaking to watch and hear and see and smell the pounding waves and know that somewhere out there was danger. And that danger had an element of excitement to it. Just how far could you go before putting yourself in literal danger.
My friend and I had such opposite reactions as well. She was very upset over people taking pictures of children against the backdrop of the surf, while I was thinking what an awesome picture and why didn’t I bring my camera.
Do some of us walk on the edge of the abyss even when we know we shouldn’t? Or do we sometimes walk not really knowing? As writers do we sometimes wonder how far is far enough? Should we kill off that character so gruesomely? How far should the sexual scene go? If our character uses profanity, should we actually write the words?
Gustav hit my brother’s area (near Baton Rouge) much worse than he hit my area. And yet in the danger was excitement for him and his family; in the terror was beauty; and in the storm was protection.