On Write-ing and Right-ing OR The Power Of Words
05 April 2011
Adrienne listened as I read from an old blog entry, describing our day afloat at Tahaa, French Polynesia. As I paused, she exclaimed - bursting with joy - let's not sell the boat! Let's go cruising again! My account had recalled the experience, re-ignited the passion of the boater's life in the South Seas, the romance and adventure, and the discomfort. Well, maybe not, we don't need to seek anything out there, she said, I'm happy here. But the excitement had been real, aroused by a flow of images! What follows here is what followed, for me, today. Just chewing the cud, just chewing the cud.
Best writer's experience (for me, at least) is when the waterfall of words parallels the waterfall of sensations. For when - in a descriptive passage for example - the writer who looks out upon a fascination of landscape experiences it as a flow of sensations, not as the camera might have it, as a box of objects.
If habit or memory dominate, the waterfall is reduced to a trickle. Oh, dear, the writer cries, my inspiration fails, I am undone, oh woe and alackaday! What will become of me (or something like that). His immediate recourse is to liberate his (or her, dammit, you can do the swap!) his imagination by one of two methods: to empty out his memory (fling his habits away) so as to allow sensation its freshest, fullest flow - that is, for it to become a "waterfall" --- or, the second way - to begin to write, letting herself enjoy the flipflopflames, the wrinkledstiltskin of words, the crackling, the sheer buggery of words plus more words. Rich in the coinage of words, the writer becomes a spendthrift - in the sounds, the meanings, the puns, homophones, thesuarussing of syno- or anto- nyms, In the sheer ridiculosity of those things (those little wrigglers!) we call werdz.
Words copulate, fornicate, or marry - and give birth to new words. Sounds pick up rhythms. Meanings accrue, like raindrops, or money. Archaic associations surface. And all the while the writer becomes excited, an excitement akin to sexual arousal. The adventure of exploring one's mind as if it were the wild heart of the African continent 200 years ago is intoxicating, dizzy-making. It can send one mad. Temporarily.
Where there is a writer, there is a reader, right? Apart from him/her self in this role, the writer has an imaginary friend, who reads everything handed it, and loves it. This imaginary friend can play the part of critic, but it is always positive, always affirming. Otherwise, why call it a friend? And it also translates, in time, to an actual, living, breathing reader such as yourself. Wonder of wonders!
There comes a time when the waterfall, the flow, stops. Inevitable, and indeed necessary, like a concerto for symphony orchestra, it leads to silence. And this silence is the whole point, the best part of the experience. Within it lies the whole, and the purpose of the experience. In this fast fading moment of rich silence is cupp'd the nectar of the gods. The oh so sweet taste of Being. Do not attempt to cover it with noise, with mundane chat. This will return soon enough. Stay in the silence, for in doing so you will be outside of time itself, for a moment. The rash impetus of writing justifies itself here, indeed so does your presence, your life: at last accepted, for a moment, without question. Be still, and rest.