Thursday, 19 September 2013

Textual Therapy

Gosh, it's been a long time, hasn't it! And so much has happened!
I wasn't going to come back here, at least, not to write. I found the prospect difficult: Something perhaps from the past and which could now be mothballed or left as a testament to a time where there was plenty to be thought and said.
And life has been busy anyway. Employment is precarious now, with the definite prospect of imminent redundancy. My last fledgling will fly with trepidation tempered with excitement out into the world on Saturday, leaving the nest empty but for us bewildered and redundant parents.
It is a time of flux which is most unsettling.
A detour one morning from looking at gas burners to allow the making of beer outside the kitchen took me to an article which opened up some interesting lines of inquiry in my mind. Apparently, expressive writing assists in the healing of wounds. How fascinating! I had no idea!
Ok the study is very specific. It deals with subjects who are "elderly" (whatever this means) and the sample size is quite small. But nevertheless, the effect is demonstrable and fits with a radio programme I recently heard.

Now, there is a specificity about the process they describe: It must be about traumatic events that would otherwise fester in your head and affect physical processes best left to their own devices; The writing should be free-form, unedited and discarded afterwards. Oh, many conditions seem to be attached and I put this down mostly to science being only willing (and rightly so) to make pronouncements tentatively and immediately attributable to the data and methodology in question.
But I like the idea that taking a mess of thoughts and writing them down is helpful somehow (and mess it certain is! You should see the piles of rubbish kept for further examination and half-regarded work-in-progress concepts littering the place in here).
To take the powerful parallel-to-serial converter that is choosing what to express, finding the words and committing them to a linear stream on a page, somehow creates a calm clarity, a catharsis even.
Being able to articulate your feelings and thoughts by careful examination of them and subsequent expression in words that "hit the spot" is deeply, existentially satisfying. At least I find it so.

Well, mostly, I commit that to my more private writings, in a secure diary which I confess I would not want anyone else to read. All manner of insecurities are dissected and laid out clearly there. And it does help.

But here, there is at least the practise of finding the thought, choosing the words and allowing them to funnel out of the mind in which they have swirled around for a period of time. That has to be beneficial, doesn't it? Anyway, it's good for my tendency towards Attention Deficit Disorder, which so irritates those around me. It provides focus, clarity amidst the fog of confused cognition in which I mostly reside.

This is difficult actually. It feels like coaxing a rusty machine into motion after years of neglect.
But it feels good: I can sense the cogs freeing up with each word and movement is beginning. It feels healthy and wholesome. And I think I shall do some more of it.