Thursday, 24 August 2017

Bermuda-type Triangles

There are mornings I just want to read and read but the minute hand on the clock won't permit me to, even for one second longer; there are afternoons I want to write but find the words escape me; and there are days where I thought I would have a lot to say yet when the time comes to actually sit across from someone, those saved topics have gone. Gone where? I don't know where, just somewhere similar, I imagine, to the Bermuda Triangle. A land of no importance, where subjects that meant something disappear because they no longer matter, or hardly seem worthwhile to impart since the situation in which they arose have since departed.
Everything then about and around my person is blank as if the experience has been erased and my mind wiped clean with one of those microfibre cloths that removes anything that could be called a mark, a spot or a thumbprint. I'm at a new starting block or in the middle of a path where nothing has changed. It's all just ticking along for I've not taken a step in any new direction. Ideas have been mooted, thought about and not acted upon, and so they don't, in all honesty, deserve a mention. Why waste my breath. Let the other person talk if they have more they want to say: to share or to confide.
Yet there are times where I want to listen, really listen, to whomever I'm with, but my mind gets distracted by elements often beyond my control, and so I come away wishing I'd been able to pay more attention to what was uttered. The conversation has, by then, already partially blurred: I remember the dialogue in snippets as if it's been cut from a bolt of cloth with a pair of dress-making scissors, and the instances where I strained to hear and had to watch a jumble of joined-up words flutter in the space between us, and then fly off because at that speed I can't lip-read.
And it's moments like these you can't get back, that can't be recreated because the moment then was good for that person, though not, as it turns out, for you. It's rare for two or more people to be in the exact same place at the exact same time, and for either to be conscious of it, or not as the case may be.
Yet, even this, these thoughts on a screen page, feels circuitous as if I've said it before, put it down in type on another blank page. Although, perhaps I approached it differently, from another perspective, so that this, though familiar, has a new but not over-familiar tone. Maybe we all have themes we return to and find ways to exhaust.
Some novelists have an uncanny knack for that, though they themselves don't realise it until a reader or a critic identifies the vein that pulses through their novels. It's so hidden within their depths, like a capillary feeding an artery, that they're not aware of it even when it's written out, because it's not intentional and because they always discover more to explore and say in different ways, in various settings, and so, to them, it always feels original.
You don't have to be a writer to have a theme, but it does seem that whilst you can easily place it in others you can't pinpoint your own. Sometimes we can be too close to the subject or it's so much a part of us that we're blind to it, even its re-occurrence. Somehow, and don't ask me how? or why?, it doesn't scream loud enough for us to notice, not in the things we do or don't do, or the things we do or choose not to say. And I'm sure quite a few of us have more than one, which then overlap and create havoc.
What, however, has this got to do with talking and listening and Bermuda-type Triangles? Nothing whatsoever, unless these thoughts, printed here, have been spewed back at me from an unfathomable, otherworldly sphere: suddenly lost and just as suddenly found.
When language strays though, much like it's been doing today, everything is harder and doubly so if you're in company or bracing yourself for some. Your speech already fumbled, your mind numb. There's little or no comprehension, since words clearly don't want to be heard or put together, and yet there's a non-verbal agreement to come up with something, which, in my opinion, is a weighty prospect when your thoughts are wont to strike random notes and fantastical notions.

Picture credit: La Jeunesse Illustree, Rene Magritte