In Tongues

I always enjoy Ron’s take.

Scrambled, Not Fried

He tried, but failed.

Almost all language had fallen away from him; falling away overnight, leaving him to make his way through the increasingly unfamiliar landscape with only limited and dwindling expressive resources.

Worse yet, though he could not immediately determine the extent, he noted with growing panic a similar falling away of his ability to comprehend both spoken and written communication.

The prospect of final and utter bereavement from what had always, up until even that very morning, provided him with measureless pleasure now completely overwhelmed and terrified him.

Not knowing whether the transformation would be finally realized over the course of moments or of years, each utterance, each sentence on the page took on the precious quality of air itself.

The fear of suffocation drowned him.


Yet, instead of making the most of every opportunity to use either spoken or written language (as one might expect he…

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Today is a sunny, drizzly, wintry late spring summer day, a rich day for meditating and harvesting nostalgia.

Such weather induces silence. The cats huddle for warmth, seeking places to stay dry and out-wait this weather. Children and adults find indoor activities. Less people prowl the neighborhood in cars, bikes and motorcycles. Nobody is cutting their lawn or trimming their trees and bushes. Few walkers and hikers pass the house. The birds become dormant on branches, indulging in their own weather meditation.Even the crows and jays aren’t saying anything.

With this quiet, I think of faded intentions and plans. I’m almost 60 now, and can pause and look back on what I thought would happen and what I planned, and compare it to what transpired. More, I remember insights that I planned to act upon and never did, words that I meant to say to people, feelings and emotions that were to be spoken, but never touched my lips. Time is an avalanche, and buries these moments. They may be our intentions but they’re subject to everyone’s timetable and existence.

Some people say this is summer, despite the calendar and the official start. Summer begins with some when Memorial Day passes, or June begins, or the schools let out. Whichever way you consider the season, as late spring, or summer, today’s air carries wintry odors and chills. It reminds me of Okinawa winters. Our tiny apartment, made of cinder blocks and lacking insulation, didn’t have any heater. We’d purchased a small electric heating tower to keep us warm.  Our family was me, my wife, and the cats. The cats were Crystal and Jade, felines that others surrendered for different reasons, that we took in. For a time, the family included Jade’s three kittens, too, but we found them homes.

Jade, a terribly smart and willful tabby cat, loved the heat and despised cold. She planted herself in front of the heater about six inches away. If you tried sharing her space, she’d bite your ankles until you moved out of her way. Mess with the heat and get the teeth. She’d make her displeasure known through her biting without moving anything except her head and mouth. The rest stayed huddled, keeping warm.

Such memories flooded me as I gathered my laptop and gear and packed it away to ‘go write’. We were in the snug, the small room where we do most of our living. The house is about 1850 square feet but we can usually be found within the snug’s hundred and twenty four square feet, reading books, on our computers, watching television, cats on the desk and laps. A small electric heater was on to combat the chilliness. The room’s thermometer claimed it was 69 in there but it didn’t feel that warm. It felt like an Okinawa winter. So the small electric heater was on because its more energy efficient than running the entire gas system.

We’re spoiled, I think, remembering back to those days of Okinawa. But sometimes it’s good to be spoiled.

I wish everyone was.

The Iceberg

Friends this week asked about my writing, or, actually, about my book, or books. Writing and the many projects are so much like icebergs, revealing a little topside but mostly submerged from sight and awareness. Limited progress and activities are exposed on this blog and FB posts but there is generally so much more.

I have two books out. Another is in the publishing machine. That’s the iceberg’s tip. Another book is completed and in editing and formatting. We’ll designate that the water line. I sort of track those more in depth on Booklife but even that is just the water line and above. Below that, another ten books are written. Some have been edited and revised. All need copy editing and formatting. A spreadsheet has their progress.

But at greater depths are the many novels in progress on computer, in notebooks, folders, and realms of paper. Many, many more exist as notes on concepts, ideas and characters. Some of the notes are written. I’d say thirty percent are written notes. The other notes are sticky pages in my mind. There are short stories, plays and screenplays, musicals, novels and series. There are always many things to write.

I used to spread myself out and work on several pieces in parallel. Now I focus on one and write like crazy. Then I revise, edit and polish one. And then I publish one.

Not as much fun in many ways as plunging into creativity’s cauldron and letting all these ideas flame into being. But the trudging, one at a time process, results in more tangible progress.

Whichever way, it’s always about writing for me, and writing like crazy. Time for that, once more.

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