Words fly away. At least, that’s how it feels once I get them on the page. Until then they bounce around in my head, solid fully-formed sentences waiting to be let out. I walk home with them, go out with them, wake up with them – I have no control over when they arrive. All I can do is turn them over again and again, placating them until I can get to a place where they can be set free. Once written, they dissipate, gossamer, ethereal, and I cannot truly recall them again. Only by reading am I reminded.
I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, and in one section she talks about how it feels when you get an idea. She references a poet, Ruth Stone, who said that she could feel the ideas coming towards her, galloping across the fields, and she had to be ready to catch them and write them down. Quite magical, really. And that’s how these sentences feel when they come to me – captured ideas that I have to write down and set loose again, like unruly children bouncing around, knocking at the doors of my mind and demanding to go outside.
Another favourite author of mine is the late great Douglas Adams. His posthumous release, The Salmon Of Doubt, is a collection of writing collated from his notes over the years, including an unfinished Dirk Gently novel. Some are excellent, especially his account of two dogs he used to meet on his daily walks. Many of them are fragments. Ideas that come and demand to be written down. I have a folder of them myself – I imagine most writers do. Partially finished stories, some still holding the magic potential to grow and become fully fledged, other just bits and thoughts and dreams. All of them have one thing in common – they demanded to be written.
This blog, also, is a collection of fragments. And this is today’s.