26 March 2011


TRANSFORMATION - change, grow, develop
We all do this and we want our characters to do this.

Sometimes a transformation happens suddenly as shown in this scene:

“At the last note Freckles’ voice died away and his eyes fastened on the Angel’s… the Angle walked…to him…and laid her lips on his forehead. Then she stepped back and faced him. “Good boy!” she said…”if you can face a great audience and sing like that…anything you want will be yours.”

“Anything?” gasped Freckles.

“Anything,” said the Angel.”

[later that day]

"Mother Duncan, do kisses wash off?" Freckles asked.

"Lord, na! Freckles," she cried. "At least, the anes you get from people ye love dinna. They dinna stay on the outside. They strike in until they find the center of your heart and make their stopping-place there, and naething can take them from ye - I doubt if even death - Na, lad ye can be reet sure kisses dinna wash off!" 

Freckles set the basin down and muttered as he plunged his hot, tired face into the water, "I needn't be afraid to be washing, then, for that one struck in." - Freckles, by Gene Stratton-Porter

Other times transformations take time: years, decades, or a whole life. In The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter, we see Scout, kicking and screaming the whole way, change over the year’s time. It is beautiful to watch the ragamuffin grow into acceptance of who he/she is.  We also see the Bee Keeper change from a soldier wounded in both body and spirit go from the defining moment of deciding to live to being a whole person again. 

We, as real flesh and blood people: grow, change, transform. A combination of internal choices and external pressures (and how we respond to them) shape who we are. As a young woman I felt an ache to have something more in my life. I had always had an interest in things spiritual but had grown up in a home were religion was marginalized. I explored different religions, found God, and dedicated myself to him. This initial process took several years and twenty-five years later is still at work within me.


Other times the change comes because of a sudden choice or action. One day, when we were in college, my husband came home and said, “I want to do ROTC.” (reserve officers training corps) My immediate response: “Sure, just not the Navy.” Within a week he started Army ROTC. That quick decision transformed our lives.

External forces, things we would never consciously seek out, touch our lives. Our response to that external force brings about internal change. My mother recently had a year and half ordeal with cancer and other health issues. She studied about her conditions and learned a lot of medical information. She also studied books on peace, healing, topics of the mind and spirit. As her body underwent negative changes (and ultimately healing, but the physical scars will always be with her) her soul underwent positive changes and she shed old scars and hurts. She did not wake up one day and say, “I need a change, I think I’ll see what change cancer can make in me.” Instead the cancer came to her and she took that illness and used it to grow, develop, change - transform.

I like stories where the characters transform. 

Cecelia Ahern does this in a fanciful way in her book If you Could See Me Now.
In the movie (yes I know it is based on a NF book) The Soloist we see two men whose lives are transformed by their interaction with each other. At times it is harsh and brutal but in the end I saw great beauty.

What is something that transformed your life? 
Do you have a favorite story, fiction or non-fiction, where the characters/people in it change? 
Please share.