During work or life, I don’t generally write down ideas when something occurs to me to write about.  It’s so clear that my conscious self has so little influence on what I do that I just give in to what emerges.  I continue to be astonished at what comes out.

Just now, seeking to find one of those ideas that have been floating around in my mind for the last few days, I realize it is the shape of the idea that I am looking for.  I’m not trying to remember the words but the form.  If I can grasp its form, the words follow.

I’m one of these people that remember phone numbers by the way they look, feel and sound.  The keypad on the telephone has a shape when I punch the numbers.  I recall the pattern, the motion I make and the beeping melody.  The number sequence is the result of other sense interventions.

I go to the brain surgeon today.  He will tell Marcia and me which intervention he recommends for the cerebral aneurysm behind my left eye.  All interventions have risks, but supposedly fewer than 10% of the operations result in stroke.  I’m wondering how many of the operations result in strokes that people or the practitioners don’t notice.  I wonder how the subtleties of creative process might be affected.

Lives have shape more than they have sequence.  Even though we think of ourselves inside a story, living life with a beginning, middle and end, the muddle of emotions and memories and where our attention is directed suggest far more an experience characterized by arbitrary feelings than a sensible narrative.  Our compulsion to tell stories, view, read and listen to stories, organize our experience in a fashion that suggests a sensible narration, may be at least partially about the fact that life is really more like a giant floating hunk of silly putty.  Rub it against print, an established story, and the silly putty takes on a mirror reflection.  The mass can be pulled and shaped but is characterized by more a simultaneity than a sequence of impressions.  The hunk is.  We just seem to prefer to think of ourselves as becoming.

I think of myself as being molded by my unconscious.  To a large extent, I’m just along for the ride.  Though I see my place in the world as part of a larger story, I suspect the true shape of things has more to do with where there are no words.


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