Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quintessence

Again, from the handy-dandy dictionary that sits on my desk: 1. the pure, concentrated essence of anything. 2. the most perfect type or example of something.

Interesting, to say the least. As some of you know, I’m a chess addict, and one of the things Masters try to do is “find the truth in the given position”. What does the position call for? What is it saying to us? What is the correct plan? What is its quintessence? While there are many, many moves and strategies available at any given time in a chess game, only one is the correct one. It’s up to us to find it. The same goes with life, and with ourselves as people and our interpersonal relations.

Although we must go through our daily routines and may have kids, a job, or bills that regularly get in the way, somewhere in there the quintessence of things lies. For some of us it is dormant, and for others it is clearly seen. Each of us was put here for a reason, I believe, and it is up to us to find and capitalize on that reason. We must all find our own quintessence, if we are to find true happiness. Pick the wrong route or strategy, or engage in things we aren’t meant to, and unhappiness will find us very quickly.

For you writers, I believe the same goes for stories, whether they be a short tale or a novel. When we begin writing, even if we have a well thought-out plan, the story can take a route of its own. It is trying to find its own quintessence, and if we ignore it and short-change something, it won’t read as well as it could. We simply must find the truth, the purest form of the story and its characters. To do anything less will find the words wasted, and unpublished. We must be true to our stories in order for them to reward both the writer and the reader.

Furthermore, I believe that the quintessence of most things lies in energy. Relationships, for example, can either be bad or good. We can try hard to make a bad relationship a good one, but if its base, pure energy isn’t positive, we will never succeed. Just check the divorce rates. None of those people found the quintessence of their union in time to avoid disaster. Be aware! Always look for signs and hints that things aren’t what they should be. Pare things down to the lowest common denominator and sometimes the looking glass will show us things we weren’t privy to before.

Really, quintessence could be a philosophy in and of itself. The search for truth, the quest to reveal everything in its purest form. Once you have cracked that code, life may become much easier for you. Not everything is as it seems. In fact, very little is, in my experience. Keep your eyes and hearts open, don’t lie to yourselves and always run, don’t walk, in the direction of happiness. If the quintessence of a certain thing is filled with negative energy, accept that and make decisions accordingly. After all, it’s ultimately up to you. Life doesn’t just hand that sort of thing out for free to most of us. So, are *you* quintessentially happy?


Jean said...

Derek, great blog! Food for thought. Am I quintessentially happy, I think so. Could things be better, definitely. Am I working toward that, I hope so. Given me much to chew on. Thank you. Well done.

Christina said...

Yes, I am finally quintessentially happy. Takes a lot of figuring ourselves out to get there. Oftentimes we are our own liars and refuse to believe the truth about people.

Shelli said...

I remember the moment I discovered the pure truth in my first novel. I cried like a baby. It was a remarkable experience. I try to search for that in each of my stories.

Anonymous said...

I'm a work in process. ;O)

My A-Z Blogging “Q” post is right here:

pbquig said...

Once again on the mark Derek. I don't know your age, but I'm sure I'm much older since I'm older than dirt and I can tell you what you seem to know, that life will never, ever go as planned, but isn't that the fun of it. I would have used your word but took a pain pill for tooth and didn't want to try it. Good Q.

Pirate Knitting said...

Good post Derek. I honestly haven't taken much time lately to examine whether or not I am quintessentially happy in my my life. I've been so caught up in the daily grind. Food for thought...

Popping in from the a-z blogging challenge btw.