This is it. The dark and dangerous hour when my mind, released by a weary body and the tasks of the day cease their incessant calling, this is the hour when my mind ignites. Words, unbidden and unbiddable cascade across my mind in a torrent that I cannot stop, and would never hope to withstand. The words tumble and converge. Ideas branch from one another and then wind their way through a mind in chaos, only to re-merge, just to fragment again.
This spell that the words put on me shatter my peace. What little I have. I am compelled, down the darkened stairs into the light of a single flame to write what I am bidden by the words in my mind. Uncontrolled, chaotic, tumbling, spinning, crashing, forming and reforming, again and again. So I pour darkness into darkness, howling with ink onto a page that will end crammed with vowels and syllables and ideas and have no meaning. It is the stuff of madness.
As lighting gives but a fraction of illumination I chase the words hoping that in the chaos I can glimpse some semblance of the mind behind them. Is it vast, beyond my comprehension. Is that why I can only ride the torrent of words and not find sense in them. I tie up my hair, a distraction from the relief I am trying to find. Words.
What are you reading, my Lord.(Hamlet, Act II Scene II)
Words. Words. Words.
Hamlet had it right. Words. They are the key to and the respite from madness. For in words are both the hinting and healing of a mind in chaos. Find the right words, string them together, make sense and Lo, you are sane. Find the right words, string them together and have a meaning that means nothing or which cannot be discerned and Lo, you are mad.
I know I am not mad, I ride the torrent, down into Charybdis and back again. Taken up by the same words that pour out, for unlike Claudius, though my words are somewhat torn, they rise up to heaven. In the darkness they fly like sparks.
There is no draft in this. This is pure, pouring out of what is inside. There is no editor, there is no process, but to sit in the dark, and to let the pen cross the page. The house may creak and groan around me, but the only sound will be the churning of the words in my head as I struggle to push them out of the pen. Out through the fingers, out into the world, where they will dry. Living things drying to mere reminders of the turmoil.
Sometimes there is a reason. Some days there is a thought or an idea or a passion that cannot remain silent any longer. That need will start the torrent of words and feelings and emotion that is so often shut securely away. Not tonight. There is no wound behind the words tonight. This night in this stillness they simply wanted to shed their skins and fly. So I obey. Eyes closed, watching the words form in my mind and paying no attention to the page. I let my hands move unfettered across the surface, no resistance to the words that want to escape or shape themselves. Let them go. Unimpeded. Freely. For only in that is there peace. Try to hold onto them, they will choke and dam everything behind them. Let them run. Let them be.
When silence comes. My hand is cramped. Ink smudges the page. There are misspellings, but there are no mistakes. The mistake would be to try to hold the swell back to ensure better precision. This isn’t an exercise in writing. It is survival.