Friday, December 18, 2009

An Experiment, Part 1

I think there is something wrong with me. I type as fast as I think. It's almost a one to one relationship, and when it comes to the Dream Lab (a whole other story...), I can literally type faster than I can think. It feels like the words literally go from my un / sub / conscious mind to the screen without going through the normal filters cultivated by years of studying psychology ("Wait, what does that mean? Why did that happen? Are you sure that's what happened?) so much so that I surprise myself with what I write as I'm writing. It's as if I'm reading someone else's words as they appear letter by letter before my eyes.

Usually this happens on a computer, but since I have purchased my first typing machine (German DDR-era), the things I chose to type have not followed the same flow. I actually like the way I am forced to think more carefully about what I am going to type courtesy of (1) no correction tape and (2) being a cheap ass and only having one roll of tape (I plan to re-roll it when it comes to the end and reuse it...). But I owed it to myself and the typing machine to test the limits the connection I felt from mind to body to metal to paper. One of the ways I did this was to conduct an experiment: I sat down and tried to type for as long as I could non-stop.

As I didn't set any restrictions and told myself that these words were never going to see the light of day, what spilled out was extremely personal and all pride aside... about love. To quote Sade, "Love is stronger than pride." And as much as I would like to say I wrote about something deep, this is what wanted to come out at this time. I was in no position to prevent what has been yearning to be recorded.

As I've read over the pages and pages of type and typos and misaligned margins since then, with different eyes, I am surprised at my own candor. This was an experiment in being completely open, letting my fingers literally pound out thoughts that I had not have the courage to even say out loud. And now I'm taking it to the next level. Because it's outside of me now, but born of me and I have nothing to hide. Nevertheless, I reserve the right to expose myself in pieces... a little here, a little there, eventually it will be here in its entirety... because I've asked a lot of myself already and that is no small personal feat. Baby steps.

Part 1*

They say that you can only, rather, you should, or rather they say nothing in the way of anything that can be interpreted as an opinion. I believe they say write what you know. Writing what you know is subject to interpretation. Telling the truth, even to yourself, is difficult. No one knows the real facts except the writer. And that is debatable. There is a burden of truth and a burden of representation. So what is it that you think you know? One thing I can say definitively is that I do not know. I can only recall the past.


* Part 1 has appeared, slightly modified, in Berlin Everyday.