Sunday, June 30, 2013

What Is Right When Living In The Eternal State of "Good Enough."


We Can't Escape The Melancholy, So Why Try?


At some point "it" actually is good enough, really, but that realization still spurns occasional trouble from the ego. Nothing is ever actually finished, right? Makes my sorry head spin.

It's funny to think that each of us is mining the exact land as our neighbor. Our shared land -the eternal ether- is never harmed through this mining. In fact, people from every land benefit from this excavation and the quarry itself somehow remains untouched after each use. It may even become more full with repeated use, which would not be surprising if found to be true. Each word carved from this 'community mine' shines as brightly as any gem and remains precious as any metal. Yes, I am somewhat limited by immediate vocabulary -as all manners of communicating are limiting to some degree- but every word I could ever choose to use, well, so could you, and vice versa. They exist for us all to enjoy and to use as we deem fit. Similar to selecting personal ingredients for your own dinner, but taken from the collective's shelves and without the allergies that necessitate exclusion.

Regardless of why any of us may write, it always is a pure joy to find the 'right word.' Sometimes it is very close and not much searching is necessary which is another small, but significant joy. Occasionally my word choice conveys the overall thought in an acceptable manner, but the flow or tense is dicey, or the overall meaning still remains open to interpretation. I strive to write clearly and not let it wander into 'clinical'. Might I need to trust my audience a bit more? We all are a smart lot. For me at least, when the 'right' words do come about after some time away, a cig or two, a reread and an edit, I genuinely get excited. Is that crazy?

The situation where one believes something is just right... It exists but also announces and represents that it's predecessor was somehow wrong. Naturally this is easier to apply in a situation where a newer version (of whatever) is being built, designed, or manufactured in some way. Microchips, guitar strings, book binders, air conditioners, story/copy editing, light bulbs, etc. You get the idea, but even the inventor of a thing got that idea from somewhere in his or her brain. Where did those thoughts come from? Lol. 

Does the 'sin' of ego exist if I believe that I got something 'right?' That my decision allowed the existence of something now perceived as 'correct' and 'final', 'without flaw' and 'print worthy', therefore 'perfect'? Am I now a god? The creation of a perfect thing is not a small task - surely that fact must speak to some truth or another? Now, as that quasi god, I judge something as 'complete'. A finished and finite product. To your editor: "I am done with this article, please publish it," and after the necessary back and forth, it is live. Deemed finished, by not just me but blessed by another, a witness. 

Orange bathroom door being painted on a table.
One final coat and was "done." Was it enough? Too much?

Although we all share these words, some people recognizably posses a different understanding of their placement and usage. This 'thing' is partially why (some) big name authors continuously put out quality work, content occasionally aside. This 'thing' is partially why a perceived "no one" scores big with a first book. This 'thing' is partially why classics are identified and revered as such. This 'thing' is partially why I decided to explore the art of writing. Can I find it? Can this powerful connection and usage of words be nurtured, developed, and drawn upon? 

Yes, content and story matter, no question -fiction or non. Seems now though, that in the morning -after all the nasty is done- word choice, syntax, and flow seem to stay for scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast. Yet, I am but a baby in this world of words, so please take these current choices with a grain of salt.

Words are powerful. They paint very vivid pictures, speak loudly, convey messages of truth and messages of lies, all in the (almost completely futile) attempt to clearly represent their author's state of mind when written - but only as directed. As the author, I am now solely responsible for any misrepresentations or cloudy messages my words present to the reader. Fair enough, but dig this: 

without access to a truly limitless vocabulary, the exactness of a particular word's definition becomes slightly less exact. 

Clouds, treetops, bright sunlight being blocked by the clouds.
Cloudy definition, just hiding the true light. 

Perhaps, the only word that has not yet been invented (or yet needed, I suppose) is the exact one necessary to remove all semblance of doubt from the definitions and combination of the other's. You may also understand that the communication of any absolute meaning through words is then rendered impossible before we even turn on a computer, pick up a pen, or open our mouth to speak. Because forced approximation of a word's literal definition exists solely due to the finite number of words and their respective understandings available to the audience, everything that follows is a lie. A white lie I can not control, but living inside this paradox is occasionally frustrating and confusing. Since the idea of removing words' collective existence in exchange for a universal -but nonverbal- dialog is melancholy at best, I now trust the approximations. 

Words do make me smile. These smiles are a direct result of the joy I find in arranging and ordering our beloved shared commodities. Your words. My words. Single words. Strings of them. Two or even four or more together, separated by a comma, period, or a paragraph even.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

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