Midnight Words

Tidying up electronic files tonight, I found this raw, unedited writing from earlier this year, which I had simply entitled “Midnight Words”.

***

Words, tumbling, and my tired mind wants to grasp them just before they slip away… while, simultaneously, turning them into concrete letters seems to push them further from my sleep-heavy awareness.

Grasping something just at the edge of my consciousness; a city-scape repeating over and over in my mind like a new reality. I see new worlds slipping off my tongue, but silent, or spoken? They have a flow and a rhythm I can feel and almost touch but transpose? I don’t know. Yet I feel there it is, just there, at the edge of being real…

A blurring of lines, of rhythms, of something so deeply familiar yet utterly new. I’ve been playing with words – expression, tone, rhythm; trying to capture meaning beyond my own understanding; try to express and move beyond by moving deeper within… expanding to explode and find something new behind the words that wait behind the words I know.

We can never anticipate the things that open new possibilities within our consciousness – we can seek and wait and grasp at them and then turn a page, scroll down a page, open a page and slowly something new appears.

There are endless possibilities of me; words and letters so set and structured and limited yet so utterly, inexpressibly limitless and abundant. The flow and dance and spinning chaos of time and mind and possibility and that it ends so unexpectedly yet endlessly renews.

That everything is cliché yet bursting with freshly born, unique energy and meaning in the moment we try to capture it. That we hear new thoughts in old frames of reference, and don’t know how to fit the one into the other.

I have never tried to paint my dreams, but in painting reality it becomes dream-like.

My immediate consciousness on waking was the brightness of the light and the exquisiteness of the song, just seconds before it cut – mid-lyric – to silence. I, capturer of lyrics and memories, could recall only the outline of the voice. ‘Who was that?’ I asked, not quite sure I was awake, yet aware of the bright bright light and the couch beneath me; disoriented.

***

The computer re-started, a few moments of waiting that felt like seconds less than it must have been, and the answer came, ‘Ruth Moody.’

Stumbling bed-wards, pausing in the bathroom, I didn’t want to wake, finding the dream-free flow of reflection utterly intoxicating. Not remembering my dreams at all, I felt immersed still in the novel I had been reading as I closed my eyes and couldn’t grasp the moment between waking and sleeping.

The pure joy of writing. How even thinking of writing makes me more aware of the details – more fully present as I notice the chill tiles beneath my feet; the particular scent of the cool air coming in through the bathroom window that I want to gulp and breath deep deep deep – as if breathing it can infuse the fullness of life into each and every cell. I grasp at the freshness of that air, yet want to integrate it without reaching for it – for it to be so integral that it merely is.

I have thought many times, in reflecting on being present without thought and analysis, of how analysing and putting each experience into words draws me away from simply being and experiencing. And so I have sought, these past months, to put words predominantly aside and try experiencing the world more directly, with less analysis and filtering and transcribing. Yet here is a moment where I can clearly feel how much more aware and present I feel through the internal process of putting the experience into words. And that is real too. Suddenly it feels like the journey is not either / or, but to better understand where and how the two can intensify, deepen my experience as I allow neither to be a dominant mode but to co-exists and not lessen the importance of the other.

I float in air; I fly in words. I find deep joy in their magical appearance in my mind; on the screen as my fingers flow, so well trained that they don’t require conscious thought.

And here I sit, back on the couch, only a blanket wrapped over my legs and shoulders, aware more of the absences of light around me highlighted by the small bright screen on my lap; the light outside glowing – the curtains undrawn.

The crickets; the traffic. The warmth of my legs, and the chill on my left arm and exposed toes. I feel overwhelmed with presence and memories and dreams and as-yet-not-quite grasped new realities.

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