Thursday, 4 December 2014

What was. And what remains.

Writing is hard. I recognise this. It didn't use to be. But now it is. This white rectangle here, the one which seems to be inviting text, it is intimidating. Somehow judgemental. I look at it for a long time before I feel able to make marks on it, for fear that the words which subsequently appear there do not do it justice. I fear whatever software that provides the space may disapprove if the words and their combination are not satisfactory.

Really I suppose, it is I who I fear the judgement of. I used to write better. A day passed when everything changed and things are no longer as they were. Oh, they are an approximation of what was, but the response of the system is different. Frustratingly so.

Time was, a ride on my bike, a walk round a town, even washing up, would elicit ideas which craved expression. A cascade of concepts would demand interpretation and exploration and then some level of eloquent translation of what was within to the world without would be made.

Now, these ideas are reluctant to appear. And when they do, communication of them into phrases is so much more difficult. "Oh, we all get this!" and "It's age! It happens to us all!" are common retorts. But this changed instantaneously. The change was sudden, subtle, but discernible. And I resent it. Words lie outside of my grasp; Not because I lack vocabulary. No, it's a conceptual thing. I fail to explain to myself what it is I am trying to describe. Once I know, the word is easily arrived at.
No, I am often aware that a word exists to describe some nebulous notion. But understanding the notion is the challenge. And this is a shame because the putting-into-words is the process by which the notion becomes not-nebulous. We can refine ideas by forcing ourselves to commit them to words. But the words are so often out of reach now.

However, I shall not admit defeat. Perhaps this can be regained, like all those other damaged abilities I have painstakingly rebuilt. If I keep trying, perhaps fluidity of thought will return and with it, fluidity of expression.

You have no idea how much hard work these few paragraphs were to articulate. From a miasma of inner frustration and confusion, it feels like adequate coherence has emerged. For the first time in a long time, I feel satisfied that something says exactly what I wanted it to.

Progress, then. Onward and upward!

3 comments:

Kay G. said...

Yes, I would say to not be too upset and the words will come to you more readily that way. If you are stressed out, then the brain will not be sending the proper signals.
Of course, you know I don't know this for sure, but I am a pretty good guesser!

Librarian said...

Progress indeed! If you think back to what your writing skill was like in the first year after your haemorrage, and compare it to what it is like now, you are certainly not blind to the difference and can tell that you already have made significant progress.
It's an age thing?! Who says that?! Oh, well, age does affect some of the things we can do in a way we are less than happy about, but writing definitely is not one of them.

PerlNumquist said...

Thank you both! I think there is progress, I just get frustrated. I suppose I should look at the positives like: I am still alive when it might easily have been otherwise. My approach will be to give my mind plenty of experiences and stimulation to work on and practice practice practice! Most things get better with practice. And it has been successful for every other mental faculty I have worked on.