Thursday, 29 September 2016


Some words like types of food shouldn't go together but somehow do. Some people you wouldn't think to put together but they somehow work.
Some words share the same letters, yet have different meanings. Some people carry the same genes, yet express these differently.
Some words get mixed up, confused for or with another, so that what they impart is different to what was meant. Some people are confused and don't know how best to convey their emotional state.
Some words are interchangeable, are dissimilar in sound and look, yet defined similarly. Some people are replaceable, are distinct in appearance and demeanour, yet possess the same desirable skills.
Some words shout, some are quiet, some are neither one or the other, some can be both. Some people are aggressive, some are passive, most are a combination of both.
But whilst words can be classified into neutral, positive, or negative, people are not so easily categorised under headings.
The bounds, as laid down in speech, thought or writing, are mitigated when divisions are crossed which nobody thought could or should be crossed to broker new territory. And then there's human error where those unnaturally brought together have a strange allure, almost as if appointed yet were waiting for someone to stumble upon them, and if they hadn't they would never have been discovered.
Although materialised, a few go unnoticed by unsharpened eyes and it takes another sharpened pair to notice. Some eyes see but don't realize the beauty and only want to correct the error; some eyes see and realise the error is an improvement because it alters their thinking. Other eyes see what others have seen but failed to mention, and for them it's a revelation as if these faults were put there to tell them something, which others that came before also thought but which leaves both feeling pleased as if they've realised something that others haven't: they're in ownership of some knowledge that others are ignorant of.
Humans delight in one-upmanship and recognising themselves in another, even fictional beings who demonstrate how they do and how they could live in the world. And as they identify with them they identify with the writer that created this fictionalised person and bombard him or her with crazed letters, become ardent fans of that one novel, and with time possibly extend this to further works. Still, that life-changing novel will be vividly remembered and revisited because of the protagonist and the way in which the writer animated him or her; readers choosing to forget the fact that the character may have been drawn from real life, manipulated but not strictly speaking imagined, because to do that would dismiss the notion that the author speaks for them and has somehow entered their soul.
Through the novel, the writer has stretched out his hands and voiced what is never expressed. The language used and the voice in which it's said achingly familiar, so that what the character does could be true of us if the same situations arose. And that over-identification is a frontier the writer has no control over, though some writers might claim this also occurs with the persons they bring into being.
It's a fine line, like one drawn with a stick in the sand. Because writing is for many a form of therapy. Experimental as in taking an idea or theory and testing it on paper to see what happens; exploratory as in foraging thoughts and memories of different selves and expressing them in a style that's natural or foreign. Things are worked out, absolved. The unknown quantity is in fact the faceless readers and their reactions because in publishing your own, often disguised, psychoanalysing you unleash a brand of pain on the world, to which there are no guarantees others will pick a safe route through the mire which once held you down but now holds them in its sway.
Therapy has no answers, just realisations.

Picture credit: Corbusier Chair and Rug, 1969, David Hockney