Presumably, there is a title above?
Yes, well, I’m glad I’ve found my words for that part of the post because I’ve gone through several in my head already and none of them feel “sticky” enough.
Aphorisms and the Endlessness of Time
The Light Dims
When We Watch Ourselves
(I’m not sure I could give an adequate sense of why that last one suggested itself to me but it is kind of intriguing, isn’t it? And still, not right for today.)
My throat is trying to move from cough-cough to irritated to scratchy to sore to I CAN’T SWALLOW ANYTHING! I’ve already taken a two-and-a-half hour nap and I’m nursing a cup of lemon ginger tea with ginger-infused honey. Later, I think I’ll try making some turmeric milk and I’ll probably have a shot of Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey before bed. It doesn't seem fair because it's January and it was a sunny, mid-70's day and I would've liked to have had a nice walk outdoors. I must admit, though, the nap, replete with purring kitteh companion, was probably the better choice today.
There’s half a load of laundry (or so) left to put away. There’s half a sink of pots (or so) to wash. There’s a pile of paperwork (or so) to attend to. There’s quarterly (or so) planning to do. And for now I’m having none of it, grateful beyond measure that I cooked last night so that I’ll have to add only a little to it tonight to make something yummy. Because I’d rather return to bed.
I have paragraphs – books – worth of words to share and none of them want to come out of my fingers right this minute. Maybe it’s the melancholy of the Bon Iver I’m listening to. “Flume.” For someone who loves words and music, Bon Iver is a strange and delicate combination of both because the music is just different enough to make you really concentrate while the lyrics are often almost completely unintelligible. Sure, I could look them up, but that’s one of my favorite things about experiencing most music – I like to figure out the lyrics for myself. His lyrics hit me more like vocal sounds, not really words, per se.
Voice is a concept writers use a lot. “Finding your voice” is the common parlance. And you do that, sure, to an extent. But/And I would contend that part of your voice happens more organically than that. Finding can be a random act or one of intention. You happen across your voice, your preferred genre, your most suitable format of written expression. Or you work through many different forms with diligence: fiction, non-fiction, stage plays, poetry, screenwriting, technical writing, copywriting, marketing jargon, blogs, novels, YA, erotica, flash fiction, short stories, catalogue blurbs. It’s a patchwork quilt in the Crazy Quilt style, the kind that only makes sense when you set away from it and see it as a whole. But you can’t step away from a body of words so easily because they can’t all be seen or experienced as a whole. You can read every word a writer has written and you will have a sense of him but it’s really not a solid thing because the very act of his writing changes his writing over time.
That paragraph sent me off on a hunt to find a particular notebook from the 90’s and I’ve been reading it for the past thirty minutes, looking for the ways in which my writing now differs from what/how I wrote then. I wanted the perfect example and ended up wading through some vampire fiction (yeah, I was an early adopter of the immortals) and contextually appropriate but sometimes confusing snippets (the thing my journals are most likely to offer) and random character sketches to finally find this small poem-in-progress from March 24th, 1997:
Alone for so long
To the point it comes
And flesh collides
Pavement scarring bits of
Tender night stuck
Struck, tight dry lips
Whisper back seeds of
Yesterday’s torment lingering
Malignant, stagnant, fetid
Harnessed power reveals
Undulating fields in pink folds
Blessed graves under miles of
Memory shy and plain
Drawn together, closer to
I have mixed feelings about sharing it. Poetry was never really my thing but sometimes the words come out how THEY want to come out, not how I would will them. And maybe that’s my point about voice. Sometimes IT finds YOU.