Friday, January 13, 2017

Una Voce Poco Fa

Every time you leave the quiet of your home work area to write in one of your favorite local coffee shop, you're reinventing a wheel you already designed thirty or forty years ago, when you already had a quiet place to work.

You already know the purpose driving you out of your quiet home turf and into the ambient chatter of coffee houses. In order to put yourself into your sentences, you need focus to overcome the ambient chatter within your head. Among the voices and conversations therein, you hear voices of your own mentors, more often women than men. 

All of these women had the necessary focus to capture sentences with themes and intent, leaving the more mundane sentences of received wisdom and convention to flitter themselves away unnoticed.

Also in residence within your head, the voices of various cultures and traditions into which you'd been born, strayed into by error, or took on with the enthusiasm of a convert. The received standards of your times, the prequel school days to the current common core. In addition, your own inherent prejudices and bigotry took hold, lumps of mold on the growing block of cheese you were becoming.

You wished to quiet all such voices in order to hear some cruising idea that had caught your fancy and were now trying to articulate. This is how your own process and the intent behind it began. You were trying to make sense of things.

A baby in a high chair drops a spoon, is overwhelmed with joy to watch it fall with a clatter to the floor. Soon as Mummy retrieves it--and she is sure to--baby connects a sequence of events. Next challenge, find out how many times Mummy will retrieve the spoon before moving baby's ass into another room or shoving a toy or pacifier at him/her. Okay, possibility the baby is an incipient genius, is already wondering if a dropped spoon falls slower, faster, or same speed as a cereal bowl.

You're in many ways the baby with the spoon, except that you have words, even know how to diagram sentences, even know the difference between the subject of a sentence, its acting-out surrogate, the verb or predicate, and the object acted upon. The ball was hit by him. He hit the ball. The ball was hit by him for a home run. He hit a home run.

You are often the subject of your sentences,sometimes the object, trying to wrap yourself around the right verb to convey the meaning you intend. If it is cold in here, does that mean you are cold, or are you inured to such things?

You listen to sentences for clues that will help you understand what you see, say what you mean, order pizza over the telephone. You listen to voices of your choice, hopeful they will turn out to be landmarks by which you can measure your progress on a particular journey.

Sometimes you hear inner and outer voices at the same time, trying to hustle you with their agenda, questioning your motives, not understanding your stories. These are the voices you sometimes leave home to avoid. Even as you leave, you understand how some of these voices will hitch on to you, ride with you. And there will be additional voices where ever you decide to go for coffee.

For the longest time, you heard voices explaining to you that you needed to have a voice of your own in order to be able to tell a story. You even find yourself at times speaking of a writer who has found her voice, mindful of how easy it is to have your own voice drowned out by voices from all about you, including from within, wondering where the fuck you think you're going.

You go to coffee houses for the coffee and to have to assemble your purpose to filter out the voices inside and about you. Then you have a chance at hearing, recognizing, and, thus, finding the voices of the sentences you need to get the explanations you seek.

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