I don't always speak my mind. Some might argue that this statement is me lying to myself, and that the gateway between my thoughts and my voice often overflows like a river after a Spring snow melt. Those who know me, or have seen my work, understand I have a gift for discourse.
I was raised in a family that, despite its reservations on talking about taboo subjects (Anarchy, Godlessness, Sex), encouraged conversation. To this day I admire my Mother and Father who could answer all of the perverse questions my young mind could muster. My parents taught me to engage the world through my mind, and allowed me to spend family dinners, car trips, and commercial breaks, as a time to use their minds as a sounding board for my own.
But what most don't realize, or to be truthful to myself, what most cannot comprehend, is the fact that I don't speak my mind because, at times, I literally can't. I cannot fashion into words the vast amount of ideas that bounce around my mind all day and night. No one can. We're not computers...yet.
To foster the idea that I could accurately communicate this ever-changing amalgamation of thought would grossly overestimate my command of my native language of American-English. Which is itself an infinitely transforming bank of terms, facts, idioms, slang, and funny noises. The quandary that arrises when someone like myself, who seems to have such a wonderfully charming grasp on expressing himself through words (i.e. the last paragraph), cannot, is why?
I know I can speak my thoughts. I think something, it forms as words, and those words represent ideas which I cast out onto the world. I am a fisherman of ideas, throwing my thoughts out into a sea of the conscious other, hoping to get a bite. I real in the catch and I have landed a partner in communication, if only for a fleeting moment.
I've described this as 'bridging'; creating a means of connecting to another via emotional investment, similar language, and mutual understanding. I illustrate it as talking with a stranger on the street about something you both love. This incredible feeling you get when you connect with an unfamiliar mind can be one of the most magical sensations a person can experience at any place in history. Strangers passing on a train. That fleeting moment where you glace across from you, and despite the fact that you have no previous knowledge of this person, you know for this instant, you understand each other, perfectly. An impression of beautiful innocence which is impossible to sustain.
I reach out and try to bridge with anyone willing. And if they aren't willing, well, I'm charming, intelligent, and observant.
So I cox
and threaten until I can get this person to connect.
And they do, because I know how to get people to engage.
But sometimes I cannot engage. I don't speak my mind when I am lost within it. It is a miserable experience to be stranded in an abstract which is ordinarily a place of comfort. I become consumed by thought to the point where the present self becomes absent, and my emotional existence seems implausible. The world is but an echo. I see everything as a distorted reflection of my own overwhelming fears. I liken it to attempting to grasp fog; an impossibly frustrating task.
I do eventually escape the labyrinth; always a little stronger, a little wiser. The mystery is how?
To be continued