I have never been good at getting the "meaning" behind the writing. This became crystal clear to me in my freshmen comp class when we had to read some random story and then write a little paper on some question provided by the professor. I read the story, then the question "discuss the importance of the characters' hats". My first thought? "The characters were wearing hats?" It was a long day that day (and I'm sure a very bad paper).
The fact is that I read the words and I follow the plot. I have an extremely hard time with the "book club type questions" often found in the backs of books since Oprah started touting her picks and book clubs in general. I can also track some between the lines activity - hints left by the author in a mystery, for instance, or what a character might be saying without words. But the deeper meaning? Not usually apparent to me.
I have written poetry in my life. And I get that the words and the way I put them together can evoke a feeling or a picture in my mind beyond the words. I suspect those images are probably unique to my brain, when I read my writing. I do not have the same reaction when I read poetry or prose by others, at least most of the time. Is that typical? I don't know. At least I get the idea, even if I can't usually sense the image myself.
These thoughts all came today as a reaction to my daily calendar "Seize the Day" reading from yesterday, which says:
"Sense the pulse and song of the day as it unfolds and creates the music in your heart." -RP-
Logically, I read the words and sense that the "image" meant to be conveyed is that each day is unique and you should pay attention, but the poetic image I'm sure the author intended is lost on me entirely. And without that sense of image, I tend to read the words and discard them. And it seems that even as I realize this, and slow down to read and imagine the intended image, the phrase is still nothing to me. I can't seem to create the image if it isn't there to start with...what do you make of that?