Jalal Jonroy *
“Whatever you see with your imagination, whatever you feel and create with your heart is
art.” Jalal Jonroy
“We write to heighten our awareness of life…we write to taste life twice, in
the moment and in introspection…we write to be able to transcend our life,
to reach beyond it… to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the
journey into the labyrinth…to expand our world when feeling strangled,
constricted, lonely… When I don’t write I feel my world shrinking. I feel I
lose my fire, my color.” Anais Nin, France. Anais Nin
“Great God! What have I turned into? What right have you people to clutter up my life, steal
my time, probe my soul, suckle my thoughts, have me for you companion, confidant, and
information bureau? What you to take me for? Am I a wench in a brothel who is called
upon to lift her skirt or take off her chemise at the bidding of the first man in a tailored suite
who comes along?”
steam – a bit of red-hot rage cooled off in words – a passionate
dream, wrapped and tied in imagery: Well, take it or leave it… but
don’t bother me! I am a free man – and I need my freedom. I need to
be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in
seclusion…face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart
for company. What you do want from me? When I have something
to say, I put it in print. When I have something to give, I give it. Your
I owe nothing to anyone. I would be responsible to God alone – if He existed!” Papini, Italy.
K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple, Stupid! That goes for everything. The Theme: How to tell it; what
words and sentences to tell it with.
First give ample chance to the Design Mind – the creative right-side
mind – to Wonder, to Feel the Urge, the Rage, the Volcano, the
Vision, the Wonder, the Obsession… to express something
special within you; from your direct experience; from your
imagination; from your heart. To ‘Wonder’ is so crucial to the
creative behavior D.H. Lawrence elevated it to the status of a sixth
Cluster and associate Freely, Emotionally, using your Senses; your Feelings while
blocking off the censoring, critical, literal (dominant in most of us) Sign min - the logical left-
“To Wonder is to live in the world of Novelty rather than Law (or habit), of Delight rather
Obligation, and of the Present rather than the Future.”- Sam Keen ‘Apology for Wonder’.
“…Wonder requires a relaxed attitude, Receptivity, an Intuitive sense, a Delight in
juxtaposing and savoring particulars, Sensuousness, Openness and Participation.”
Focus on a Theme, an overall Feeling; a Guiding Vision using the creative right-side
Narrate a story naturally with: mystery, surprise, energy, excitement, humor, digression,
freshness, fun, individuality, color, sounds, rhythm, smell, touch, taste… to captivate the
reader as though he/she is listening right in front of you!
musical instruments, the noises of wind, sea, and rain, the rattle of
milk-carts, the clopping of hooves on cobbles, the fingering of
branches on a window pane… I cared for the shapes of sound that
their names, and the words describing their actions, made in my
ears; I cared for the colors the words cast on my eyes.” Dylan
Be Selective: describe emotionally but do not make boring lists of everything you see or
feel; choose one or two overriding characteristic(s) or feeling(s), using no more than one or
two appropriate adjective(s).
Choose from the amorphous mass of subconscious images.
(“Art is not the truth but a lie that shows the truth.” Picasso.)
Be Evocative, even Provocative, not explanatory: a literal, technical,
sequential, ‘safe’, or logical description of “facts”, while correct to
the logical left-side Sign mind, is dull - or worse, boring - to the
emotional, creative, playful mind. Pablo Picasso
Tell it like it is, so it shows truth, paying attention that speech may say one thing; the body
another… For example, when in love, “moving between the twin fears of having and
losing”. “Because the ‘truth’ lies like nothing else!”
Be Playful: Deal with polarity/opposites, not by choosing opposites but by riding and
rocking with the swing of life…Reality is a dance; a conversation; a series of echoes.
Strive for Metaphor: create Images to excite the five basic Senses evoking Emotions. But
be careful of mixed metaphors and contrary similes.
Let that which is significant Recur.
Be sensitive to language Sounds, Ryhms and Rhythms, and especially to Patterns, to
Parallel Forms, to Symmetry: these make prose more poetic, more fascinating, more
Play with Opposites for Creative Tension. “To know one thing, you
must know the opposite… just as much, or else you don’t know that
one thing… For the ‘opposite’ is not opposing but a necessary
compliment.” Henry Moore.
“Peu de chose nous console parceque peu de chose nous afflige”.
Pascal. If you want conflict removed, you are asking for the
unnatural. Imagine a sea without waves: it would be a sea no Henry Moore
longer! (“Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical, delicious pain, dove-feathered raven…” Romeo
and Juliet, Shakespeare.)
Be witty and use wild humor, including poking fun at yourself, if it blends with the overall
Be human: make references to your own vulnerabilities and contradictions, within the
Do not show off personal style, experience, knowledge, or quotations of the famous, for
their own sake. Invoke these only to progress the narrative within its guiding Theme.
Avoid overused images, tired words, common sayings, over-popular proverbs, hackneyed
phrases, trendy or heavy, intellectually ‘pretencious’ expressions, and clichés. Write what
stands the test of time: omit what is, or is going to sound, silly, cute, pretencious or corny
except on purpose, e.g. to mock!
Cut Out spurious words and dead language: every Word must tell. “Two words will never
serve as well as one alone.”
Finally, come full Circle. Good writing hangs together gracefully like a marvelous piece of
music; a sculpture; a painting; the architecture of a striking building; a beautiful, tastefully
dressed woman; or indeed like any wonders of nature: a tree, a flower, a butterfly, a bunch
Then: Revise and revise, invoking the participation of the left logical Sign mind (for
language, grammar, syntax, brevity) until the writing speaks with your own unique, true
inner voice; your individual style. Revise:
* Until it feels simply True.
* Until it seems Aesthetic to the Design “feeling” mind, (i.e. probably strange, incongruous
to the left logical Sign Mind!)
* Until it sounds Harmonious, Fresh and Original.
* Until it is Whole and Unalterable.
fascinating discussions; dreams; daydreams; music; playing
with children; a sumptuous meal; a lovely wine; a great
smoke; an ecstatic amour; the excruciating pain of love lost; a
superb movie; a wonderful painting; an amusing cartoon, a
brilliant novel; a rousing natural sport – like horse riding; a
deep grief; an unusual experience; a chat with a madman, or
Let the Design mind dream, be obsessed, create and see the idea! And use the Sign Mind
to present it!
Where do words come from?
From what rubbing of sounds are they born
on what flint do they light their wicks
what winds brought them into our mouths
Their past is the rustling of stifled silences
the trumpeting of molten elements
the grunting of stagnant waters
they grip each other with a cry
expand into lamentations
become mist on the windows of dead houses
crystallize into chips of grief on dead lips
attach themselves to a fallen star
dig their hole in nothingness Vénus Khoury-Ghata
breathe out strayed souls
Words are rocky tears
the keys to the first doors
they grumble in caverns
lend their ruckus to storms
their silence to bread that’s ovened alive
(Translated from French, by Marilyn Hacker)
Whatever you see with your imagination, and feel and create with your heart is art.
* Jalal Jonroy, writer/director of David & Layla, New York, 2007.
Jalal Jonroy's other articles
A monument to human endurance
Suspension of disbelief
Waiting for the rain, a
Kurdish love story
Silence tells much
more than words
The first film about
Kurds: Zere 80 years
Half Moon, a review in
of Kurds in ‘A taste of
cherry’ and ‘The wind
will carry us’
Kurdish Identity and
Culture in the Films of
Yol: A monument to
An interview with the
director Lauand Omar
David & Layla:
Criticism of cultural
biases and celebration
Interview with Yilmaz
David & Layla
Pain of Giving Birth
Crossing the Border
The New Kurdish
Yol - Jalal Jonroy
Breaking the Silence