Monday, 24 December 2012

How Little and How Often?

I wonder who invented whisky. I just bought a bottle. It's a Birthday present for someone and it will be a few days before I give it to him. But it's ok. He won't read this so I won't spoil the surprise.
I don't like whisky. I had no idea which one to buy. Is Johnny Walker Red Label good? When I taste it, it makes me feel immediately nauseous. It's a taste I never developed and probably just as well. There are things such as skiing, motorbikes and whisky which I have avoided because I just know I will love them and if I get a taste for them, it will be my undoing. So, whisky will remain for me an unacquired taste.

The shops were as one would expect on Christmas eve: Lots of couples wandering along the aisles of Tesco's, Yate, desperately trying to remember what they came out for and how all this previously undesired stuff had found it's way into their trolley.

Very little here by way of inspiration. Everyone was surprisingly pretty much silent as they goggled at the shelves. Perhaps they had used up all their words for the year and had got to December with none of their allocation remaining. So maybe they could only point speechlessly at the pyramid of kitchen towels, half-price mince pies and bottles of Baileys and shrug. I know how they feel.
Words do seem to have a life of their own. These days I find them rather reticent. Whereas they used to flood into my head at the merest opportunity and overflow here, now, I have to squeeze them from my uncooperative brain and on to the page. I don't know why this is. It could be due to a lot of reasons, some neurological, some circumstantial, perhaps even some behavioural. Perhaps I don't need them any more?
Whatever: At some point in the last nine months I seem to have lost my Way With Words. And I miss it.

A friend who is a published author said that it is like any "muscle" by which I assume she means that it gets stronger with use (in which case, the iris, the tongue and those smooth muscles that produce peristalsis ought to be exempt from the catchall "any" as they don't get stronger with use.)
But I take her point.

And so, in an attempt to rediscover what it means to be articulate and to preserve what vocabulary as remains to me, I shall be jotting down the occasional thought here.

It seems to me that a wholesome home life is good for the soul. Yesterday I spent almost a whole day cutting, drilling and tapping M8 threads in steel plate for my van and I found it immensely rewarding. But when this kind of thing becomes your main passtime, spare waking moments tend to be spent on staring into space and thinking how to make a stool for the van which can be sat on but which will slide into the bed the rest of the time and contain all the frying pans etc. Mechanically, its inventive, but it does not inspire. Rather, it kind of calms. Which is ok if that is what you are after. But not all the time.

But I think the whole point of this blogging malarkey is for us all to find our way to a Vibrant Life of The Mind. Well, perhaps I shouldn't generalise for everyone, but that is a large part of it for me. That and the connection it feels it gives to Wider Humanity. At the moment, it is all a bit quiet in here and not vibrant enough. And nobody likes feeling lacklustre, out of touch and un-shiny, do they?

So, Little and Often is how it needs to be.

And as an afterthought, in no way connected: Does anyone ever get a word that decides to inhabit their brain for a day or so and pops up all the time in their mind's ear? For me, today, it is the word "Helminth". Such a fresh sounding word I feel (given what it denotes). Sorry. Complete non-sequiter there. I am hoping for more of that as the sudden changes of direction make life more interesting.

And that is enough rambling nonsense for today, I think.


Librarian said...

I had to look up helminth, and to me, the word sounds completely unlike what it stands for, like bright reddish-pink and white stripes.

The topic of words not coming to you as easily as you would like them to seems a recurring theme on your blog. I think I remember one post where you liken the state of your mind with trying to move a large cube of steel out of the way in order to access the many rooms of your mind. And that was long before you suffered the haemorrage.

As for whisky - I have never liked the stuff myself, being more of a cocktails person myself :-)

PS: Word verification was particularly difficult to decipher today, especially the number part.

PerlNumquist said...

Helminths (or the lack of) seem to be implicated in allergies. We need more exposure to helminths if our immune systems are to function correctly.

I think this period of wordlessness feel qualitatively different to the others. Usually I would be bereft of inspiration but be able to find the words. Now I struggle with wanting to write, finding inspiration and now getting to the correct words. But practise! It has to help!

Didn't know verification was on. I will turn it off.