Friday, September 18, 2015

At the doctor's office again:

Values, what are my values...  That's what we're trying to get at here.   And maybe one way to frame it is to say this, which is that there is out there that world of the possibility of words, that wild Shakespeare gift to unfurl words, to use them, to regain that ability to say how a person might really feel.  Or to describe, simply describe...   What are we, what have we become...  Too afraid of weird expressions that haven't seen the light of day in normal life in four hundred years... I mean, we leave them up on the stage.   We're left mute, unable to out-reason the complexity of our thoughts and feelings in the required burst they deserve, all their complicated sinewy meat.  We ache of things we cannot get off our chest, stuck in the vacuum of what normal talk can be about.

That wild cave-painting ability to express the creature...   washed up on a shore of having to make sense all the time.  The narrowness...  or is it as if words no longer had meaning...  but to navigate that which is required of us...

Everything is left unsaid.  And against that tide what do you have but an unsuccessful writer, one who wants to play the wild poet's game, chase down balls, connect and catch...  The menu of words is shrunken, the focus on other dazzling things... Things not tied together in words leave both obscured. Wine is no longer poetry, the animal no longer feeling the things we do and if the animal can't than we no longer can either.   The whale is us, but in the sea.  We grow older and our eyes are less aligned in vision, closer to being like those of the whale, on either side.  The cat's hopeful perch...

The person who once was an actor coming up with all things wordy is now behind a bar, listening to people talk.  No wonder he gets a bit depressed sometimes.  "I had words once.  I read them.  I understood them.  I wrote them, even."  Not all this going along with the wealthy drunk commanding their largess over their dates...  No other resolve but to let the show continue, play out embarrassingly... pulled away by this and that, a wine selection for a table of young married women.  Needing naps to clear the mind, to let the heaviness of such things sink away and finally leave you...  The shame.  The good he does with real friends, a community, dragged down, its meaningfulness having to depart to come back later hopefully like a bird's return.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," my book says.  You try to communicate those funny things that go on inside you, but they are not allowed the seriousness of a hearing, swept over by so many other words and talking people.  And each time you are upbraided for using the width of the language, you find discouragement, indirect approval at best to be read like tea leaves.  And how it hurts when you have all these words to deploy and they are cut off, or taken as any other word of common exchange.  "I have that within which passeth show," says Hamlet.  There's no way to say all those things  that he sees, like ghosts they are.  But all you can do, all he can do, is try.  Thus they come down to the soliloquy.  Alone but effective, the light's beams released, captured by that clever listener, the bard...  who manages to transcribe at least some of it.  Some of it.  Best you can do somedays.

And all those truly Shakespearean characters, Lear in particular, or Hamlet's ghost, naked, alone, words are the fool, the only company...  That's the "I'm nobody, who are you" truth of ghostly physics, the truth a writer finds at the bottom of it all.

But set yourself up with expectations and there will be disappointment.  Things weren't meant to be, the college kid and the princess...  It would have been a strain.  And anyway the mind's a tyrant for all the wounds it inflicts upon us.  That's why we all might as well become Buddhists eventually, just to keep our calm.

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