Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Inarticulate


How we might perceive the world



*A Work In Progress

There's a book that is demanding to be written. All my work is bossy like that, but this one more than any previous endeavours. It is kicking its way out, then throwing itself like a possessed jigsaw. All I have to do is put it together. 
This particular piece of it is from the point of view of a person with a profound congenital disability, and hopefully gives a voice where a voice would not easily be found. I don't know where it will fit in the big picture. Anyway, feedback appreciated... 


The ‘I’ that is writing this does not exist.
No one can know what I can or cannot articulate, what it is that I know, even if I know myself at all: as you could not articulate the difference as you passed from unborn to born, but only react, involuntary.
So this ‘I’ is a supposition.
There are sheets of medical words to explain this condition. And there is this ‘I.’

Life was a dream to be woken into, a beat of hearts, a warmth we did not process: we only knew it was different when air entered our lungs and our bodies unbundled.
Nor did we know ‘we,’ nor do I know it now.
There is a loneliness of which I may not be aware. Maybe that first missing is with me still. I cannot tell you.

Existence was physical. Air in lungs. Noise. Light. What sense I made of it - it is not translatable. Something was summoned from me by external stimuli.

The world of sight was - is - light and blurs. I am named blind but light - the sparkling kind, the flickering, I will follow that. I can reach a hand to a thing, hold, caress, reject, fling.
To touch - is this a counter to isolation?
When the rain blows in my face, I am smiling. Laughing. This joy is observable. Do I mean you to observe it?
I cannot tell you.

Sound is hearing and feeling. I will pluck a string and press my face to the vibration.
Here I seem content, self-contained, missing nothing.

When something feels wrong - a pain, an unhappiness, I cannot tell - I will thrash my arms. No voice comes from me. Indigestion, ennui, migraine, same thrash.
Here I seem locked in, attempting to escape.

Questions, answers, sticky weblines.
How different we are, how alike. How any ‘I’ can be a supposition, invention, brought to exist, ceased to exist. How fickle existence is unless our attention is mindful.
How the blow of rain can wake us.


2 comments:

  1. I like the voice. I can see a lot of potential, given the character's limitations (can't see well and can't hear, at a minimum) in how you roll out what the disability is/disabilities are, in what happens to him, in who the people are the character interacts with.

    In "JR" by William Gaddis, Gaddis uses almost strictly dialogue with little or no description outside the dialogue, so the reader is left trying to picture what is actually happening based on the dialogue and how the characters are reacting, and that really sucked me in. It forces you to picture in your head at every moment of the text what is leading to this reaction.

    This sort of seems like it could be similar to that. Anyway, great voice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this, Harry, and I haven't read any Gaddis so that's another name for my TBR pile :-)

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