“Words are things: and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”
I thought about you today. As I often do when the dew drips, I imagined how you are going to perceive these words. I analyze the possible outcomes that will come from this interaction, and am ever curious as to whether I am making a positive impact in your life through these explanations of my experience. I dream that, in fact, I am, but I have not always been swayed by the warmth of guarantee concerning that assumption.
As the moments pass, even the highlights before my eyes feel finite, and yet my heart whispers infinitely. I conclude through realistic means, as doing so keeps me updated on the present situation, and yet my thoughts are constantly wandering off the beaten path, generating every which direction that could find itself beneath the tip of the compass needle. I am flirtatious with the unknown, the irrational and the disproportionate because those concepts, although often enough radically random when verbalized, create for me melody within the melodrama.
T.S. Eliot wrote that “every experience is a paradox in that it means to be absolute, and yet is relative; in that it somehow always goes beyond itself and yet never escapes itself.”
Every time I write I want it to be the most earth-shattering, jaw-dropping, explosive remnant of captured essence that your eyes have ever come across, and yet I realize that it is not. I want to sound as if I know the temperature that each star burns at, the outcome of every equation and the rhythm of any note that holds a tone, but I realize that I am simply sharing what it is that I am thinking.
I find a deep sense of comfort in that conclusion because I cannot share the thoughts of another, for I would not do them justice, but this arrangement allows me to supply my own at no cost. I was just taking a break in writing this piece, and while out on my patio I saw four people step out of a vehicle but just for a stretch of seconds. Two men shook hands, a woman gave away hugs like they were gifts on Christmas, and the minuscule amount of awkwardness in the situation was muffled by the mutual affection of a parent, a son, a lover and a friend apparent to all witnesses. It made me think, as to be capable of distribution.
I write because I want you to read it. I want you to love it. I can accept it if you hate it, but my greatest hope is that you can relate it to your own life, as I’m ever escorting the possibility that you might feel something exceptional from it. I am trying to travel outside of myself by giving what I hope to be whimsical intuitiveness of our universal connection, and yet I am relying on myself entirely concerning creation of the parameters of this path we are sharing on our travel. I want each sentence to be of itself, this piece to speak to you as you read, and yet I desire this to be a fundamental moment in your life that you look back on with anticipation in discerning what choices to make and what routes to take.
These words truly are things. They have been a bed upon which to rest during the days I’ve been most weary. They have been a river that grows when my tears are shed to mold the flow towards the greater ocean. They have been a game we’ve played for what seems like ages, and yet at other times barely a day’s length. They have been a victory for me in a race where no one ever finishes in second place.
My editor asked with her ever-appreciated exuberance whether I thought that Lord Byron would be the type of guy she and I would like to kick it with some time, and this is what I think.
Any individual with a laugh flowing from their lungs, any place that is a home to those that own even a sliver of the pie, any person who knows not the presence of enemies, but the true definition of friend, those are the “things” I cherish most in life.
When I write, I sense the light of the stars burning up the night, the finale of the fight, flocks forgetting height, born for the first time into flight. I think my greatest desire in sharing it with you is that an equal result may come to be your close companion.
What do you think?
Eric Engel, formerly of Tiskilwa but now of Madison, Wis., can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.