Beautiful young women stretch their bodies along the cliffs to catch the sun. Their wet bathing costumes, the thimblefuls of water in their navels, begin to dry as the sun rises and warms the air. Seagulls eye their wiggling toes.
On a superficial level, we live in a less violent age than those I write about, and karate has fostered a visceral understanding that benefits my work. But more important is the wisdom that I've gathered from my practice. I think wisdom is what turns mere sentences and information into literature.
Empathy—as an interpersonal choice between equals—can perhaps save our lives, or at least save some of what makes them worth living. But empathy—as a political strategy—says that if you try hard enough to prove to power that you’re human, it might decide not to kill you. Empathy, then, as a moral framework for art, suggests that the way to change the world is to affirm and appeal to the morality of power without condemning it or scaring it away or actually transferring any of it.