Of Urgencies and Buzzes, of Raw Prints and Breadcrumbs

Writing is a rush.

Get inside, somehow, but get inside. Here it is: here is the whole of it. Inside words there is, of course, another world to fall through. It’s a world of otherness, a liminal space, possible connections and improbable lives. In it we’re in a dream. Writing is a rush. It’s a buzz. We surface and we feel the adrenaline fizz through the system like a shock of near collision when driving. Here it is. Rush is, from research:

Oxford Dictionaries:

verb: move with urgent haste.

noun: a sudden quick movement towards something, typically by a number of people; (rushes) the first prints made of a film after a period of shooting.

Encarta Dictionary, via Word, has this:

verb: move fast; hurry somebody or something along; take somebody or something urgently; do something hastily; go recklessly; flow fast; capture enemy quickly.

noun: great hurry; sudden fast movement; busy time; great demand; sudden attack; sudden flow; sudden feeling; sudden pleasurable sensation.

plural noun: unedited prints of film scenes.

Writing is a rush of research, a buzz of the clack, of falling into and through the characters, the scene, the place and the space. If I leave it, will I find my way back there again? Do I need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find my way back in? How do you find the exact same space you found before without it?

Get inside. Move with urgent haste, have a sudden movement towards the possibility of something, something, in there. A number of people will move there too. Write them to find out; move with them; be part of the crowd, the throng, the space and the breath of it all. Draft it out, first prints, first press, first shooting, pencilled in, crayoned in, rough at the edges, dirty with the love of it all.

Get inside. Move along with the pace and the speed and the smell and the light and the darkness of it all; move it along because, even in the pauses, the pauses are part of it; hurry along with it all; get caught up. It’s a dream. It’s a wave. Take everyone and everything along for the ride. Go recklessly, not dangerously or without thought, go recklessly without fear of it all. Flow fast and flow slow and flow wherever it takes you. Capture the enemy of fear, quickly and smartly, and take it along with you too. Write and edit and think and pause and sink and swim and flow and write few words and write many words and keep inside, keep inside.

Get inside. Have a great hurry about you, a suddenness, a busyness, even all of this in the stillness of fingers; be in demand — let the words need you. Execute great and sudden attack: find the exact right word and lay it down, or turn it over and over and play it till it squirms. Know the sudden flow, the sudden burst, the emotion and the exaltation and the energy and the chemical spill in the veins.

Let it seep. Let it flood. Let it be known to the self that words have been written, that things have been said, that space has been entered: an otherness, a liminal place, where there are possible connections and improbable lives. Feel the adrenaline that passes. See the unedited prints of the scenes, edited maybe, a little, edited but unedited, undiluted, fizzing.

Writing is a rush, is to rush, is the rushes.

(Already, I know I need something more wind-proof than a trail of breadcrumbs though . . .)

About Emergent Merging

Take space to breathe.

We may say that writing and breathing are connected. We may say this, though the danger is that saying it causes us to fall into some pretension. It’s not so simple to say that we can always write without thinking about it, like breathing, though it is simple to do. I find it’s often the space that proves to be the difficult thing.

Build yourself up, psyche yourself up, get yourself ready to write — all of these — or accept that you should always be ready? It’s not so binary a system. We live in days of flux, and days flux in and out of us. We may live in words, and words in us, yet this is different to stopping, seeing, getting them down.

It is, right now and for this writer, an arrangement of knowing what flows around, and in, and in between, and choosing the moment carefully to pin it all down. Choose unwisely and there’s nothing that can be said, or written. The danger when writing about writing is that there is that possible fall into pretension.

So, building up and knowing that it’s all out there anyway are two processes that start to overlap. Timing is everything when everything overwhelms. Open the door and look outside. Look up in the world. Make that conscious effort to down the tools of whatever the necessary unnecessary of the flow of time is, and break time. Open the door, look up in the world.

Breathe, because making space to do this creates space to do it more. Write in the head because writing in the head creates space to do this more. Time and space, space and time, inter-relate and merge. It’s no longer a case of how one is more important than the other. It’s no longer about the focus and break-down of hierarchies.

Time and space and space and time and breathing and writing and writing and breathing and building up and knowing the flow and knowing the flow and building up all merge. It’s simple enough to write without superfluous thought: we just must drop into the now of it all.

Jump, Fall In

I wrote so deep into the uncontrolled darkness I didn’t know if I was a word or a page or a period at the end of a sentence.

— Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind (1991)

I sit and read because words are lost to me. Once, I wrote. It’s December and, although the sky is that pearl of eggshell blue and the sun is weak over the winter day, words won’t just come just because it isn’t grey outside. I sit and read. Now, and only now, can some semblance of ‘writer’ form. Some days, of course, we’re floating. No amount of mock raising of the spirits, shaking awake the muse — dead to the world — can bring about a single written word. We just wait. Procrastinate and all will end well?

You see, jumping right in is all very well, but jumping in involves first standing on the edge. We are gradual creatures: we work in slow degrees. We function in mechanical operations, even if we don’t know this; yet, today the sky is eggshell blue, now I read, over there is the possibility of an edge, now jump. What if we were to bring the mountain to Mohammed? Once, on returning to the beach, a child said, ‘Why has the hole I dug moved away from the water?’ (or words like these). Let’s bring the edge of the hole to the place where we are, and jump. What can words now be? Jump in and write.

Falling is fierce. We feel the wind on our faces. We sit up straight in our chairs. I sit up straight in my chair. Here I am. I fall. I look around at the words that start to scroll: the rock has colours I couldn’t see from above. Here I am, sliding into the earth. I don’t have concerns for pretensions. Here I am. Here is now. Dark yellows and deep greens, red on burnt white and brown. What is down here? In the hollow of a mind resides all sorts of insects. When I land I want to loft the stone to see. Underneath may be cockroaches and striplings of baby adders too: it’s not all the rosy shine of eggshell, down below.

Look deeper in the fall. When we land in words what do we feel? Do our bodies know we’ve landed at all? Here is sand, and here is dirt, or there’s nothing but love in subterranea: the hands of a thousand ghosts coil like soft clean smoke, smoothing over the possible scratches on skin. The body-soma doesn’t feel under the mind-touch of words: words like smoke like oxygen, pure and simple, like white dry ice or liquid nitrogen, permafrost. What the words do here is smother all otherness, here at the bottom of the hole. Perhaps there’s more . . .

Go deeper. Dig down till you reach the centre of the world. Here is the magma to make words rotate. Here is carbon in long straight ways. Open up and open up, let it in. Words won’t hurt. Dig deeper, dig farther: out into the clear night on the other side of the planet. Here are stars hiding on the lip of the horizon. Fall through and away . . .

Today the sky is a pearl of eggshell blue, as I look up and see, just as the door downstairs opens and the house fills up with noise: co-incidence or the universe at work? I can’t tell.

Jump in yourself, and see the way that words are.