“Oh, how often one longs to speak a few degrees more deeply!” -RMR
I’ve just gotten back from a trip to Malta and my mind has been working sluggishly lately, but I’ll get down a few little thoughts I’ve had recently before sleep to try to jumpstart my writing again.
African Drum Concert (Nat Self Remix)
Edwin Starr & Nat Self – War
Being an introvert, I have a lot of time on my hands to think about myself, and to worry about things. I am often plagued by the fear that I am no fun to be around, because sometimes I get so immersed in internal musings that I feel totally unrelatable to anyone else. I am often envious of the way that other people have fun – lighthearted, carefree, jocular fun – without giving a thought to how their last sentence might have been funny for its wobbly syntax or how their physical movements might mirror their thought patterns. Sometimes I get into conversations with people only to realize that I’ve exhausted them with my overly eager metaphoring and frenetic punning.
Even in my writing I sense a sort of desperation to draw connections between things – to find some link between one object, one thought, one word, and another – that has the potential to turn good thoughts into excruciating text. How is a clock like the heart? How is this score like an architect’s sketch? How is this color like the feeling of deepest sadness, or this one like endless rebirth? In a blog post on mapping I remember asserting that metaphors were not so much a decorative element of writing as an absolutely essential brick, something that we as humans need to create in order to understand ourselves and our world. I think for some people, metaphor is inescapable: every image conjured in the mind is rapidly linked to another, with the exhausting forward energy of the Fantasia brooms. For these people, finding beauty in the world is inherently an act of association: to explain the loveliness of one thing through its likeness to or contrast with another thing, to seek a mirror for everything and thus in some way to deny a single beautiful object its solitude. It is at once an exhausting and stimulating way of thinking, and one that I don’t seek to escape, but to control. In writing, it is only in controlling this impulse, in taming it, that metaphors become illuminating, celebrating instead of toiling under the weight of their basic duty to tie together the far corners of the world; to find a light in the dark and darkness in light.
I told C. I was worried I was no fun and she told me to quit overthinking things. ❤
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