The thing is, I used to think in words; they were always sort of there, always a part of me. They kept me sane, organized, sure of myself. If other people saw pictures in their heads when they would daydream or concentrate, if their minds could conjure up brilliant images to illustrate concepts or thoughts, I saw words. I saw letters, punctuation, full complex sentences winding their way through the contours of my brain, printing stories into my mind and bleeding out into my eyes, my throat, my hands, my heart, and finally onto paper, where I could look at a tangible translation of my thoughts and say, “Yes, that’s exactly how I feel, that’s exactly what I wanted to say.” In this way, words rarely ever failed me; the right words were forever at my fingertips, and I could rely on them, these magical things that came so easily to me, as a means for expressing myself.
I don’t think in words anymore.
At least, I don’t feel like I do. I rarely do. But I don’t think in
pictures, either. And because I’ve never thought in pictures and I no
longer think in words, I’m left with a mixture of both, this sort of
strange in-between mess of colours and concepts and ideas that seem to
drift through my stream of consciousness, merging together but failing
to combine into anything logical. If ever the words do come to me, it’s
only during those fleeting moments of delirium that creep up on the edge
of sleep, when a few ephemeral words might materialize, a couple
strings of sentences will pass through, only to evaporate into the
all-encompassing fog that is my brain, my mind, my…whatever.
Whatever; that’s a word that seems to appear often. Perfectly vague,
perfectly useless. The perfect word to use when I don’t want to finish a
sentence, when I just can’t articulate my thoughts, which is pretty much always nowadays.
And I don’t know what happened to my words, where they went, and if
I’ll ever be able to find them and bring them back. Even worse, I don’t
know why they left in the first place. Maybe it’s because I didn’t take
any classes this summer and my mind has slowly been turning into soup
due to lack of stimulation; maybe I’ve been given too much time to think
these past few months, and there’s a danger in that. When my mind isn’t
distracted by school and deadlines and stress, there’s no telling where
it might wander off to, the ways in which it might strain and twist
itself to try to reach an understanding. Maybe there’s a limit to how
complex our thoughts can be before they become untranslatable, utterly
impossible to put into words. And maybe that’s not a bad thing, but to
me it’s the most frustrating obstacle in the world.
Recently, I had a visit from a friend who is about to go off to
university, and we spent most of the time we had together just talking.
We walked around town, laid down in the grass at a park together, and
talked about the world, society, sex, and what it means to be human; the
oddness of relationships and social expectations, the essential
meaninglessness of life, and the prospect of an afterlife. We talked
about how people don’t go anywhere when they die, and how it isn’t death
that we are afraid of, but time; dying before having the chance to
properly experience the world. We talked about how, in the grand scheme
of things, nothing that we do in life really matters, and laughed at how
ridiculous society is for trying to rationalize irrational things. We
talked about how fucking weird everything is and debated the existence
of free will. And as we got deeper into conversation, we came to a point
where we literally couldn’t talk anymore. We kept ending our sentences
with phrases like, “I just, I don’t even know,” and, “It’s like, just,
arrgghhnerfnergnuhnuhmne, you know what I mean?” And we always knew,
there were just no words left; no words that were big enough or
important enough to adequately describe what we were feeling, because we
didn’t know what we were feeling.
That’s the frailty of language, I suppose; it doesn’t cover the enormity of the human experience. But who can expect it to?
That’s why I don’t blog as much I should, and that’s why I don’t
spend hours writing like I used to. All this summer idleness has got me
thinking too big for pen and paper, feeling so deeply that it’s nearly
incapacitating. Maybe once school properly starts, the words will come
back and balance will be restored to my aching brain. But until then,
I’ll continue to think too much and revel in how weird and wonderful and
inexplicable everything is.
And maybe that’s okay, for a little while.
A pep talk from Barack Obama.
1 hour ago