This is a marble.
I would call it a fairly ordinary one. It's made of glass, small. You could probably pick up a bag of marbles just like these at a dollar store.
I want to invite you to try something with me.
Find a clear marble like this one.
Take it, and hold very close to your eye, and look through it to the light.
You will be surprised, if you have never done it before, to see worlds.
Yes. Worlds. Try it. Look inside. You will see stars and planets and solar systems, suspended beautifully in the glass of the marble. You can almost see them in this one. But you can't see the full grandeur of it unless you are willing to look closely, to risk looking a bit like a fool with a marble in your eye.
Yes, I used the word grandeur. Sometimes the smallest things are the grandest.
Sometimes, we think in order to find grandeur, we must write grand tall stories. We think an epic setting or an epic length or an epic time in history will give us what we want. But I think that may be taking it all the wrong way.
There are very, very few things grander than a human soul. And yet, there are so many of us around that perhaps we begin to think of ourselves as commonplace. Perhaps, unconsciously. we feel we are as mundane as a clear glass marble.
But I think that if a book was able to open up the grandeur of a single human, for just a glimpse of the beauty... then that book is of more worth than a hundred epic settings and all the epic scope in the world. Such a book would not have to create grandeur - it would simply show it for what it was.
Beginning with ourselves, we must become willing to look a tiny bit the fool as we hold ourselves up to the light - and then, as we understand ourselves, then we can begin to understand others. As we understand others, as we see them for who they really are, we can begin to see how incredibly remarkable humanity can be.
:) And as we are doing all this, we can write about it.