"The written word is a lie."
I get messages from music, when I pay attention. Sometimes from parts of my brain, sometimes from... somewhere else. It's not all the time, and it is not a requirement for my love of music, nor does it get in the way. I'm better, in every way that matters, when I listen.
I've always struggled with (A)art, with words, with (T)truth, with communication. I believe that anything you know, anything you feel, is made more powerful, more meaningful, through communication to others. I'm not sure if ineffable (t)truths exist; if they do, how meaningful can they be if they can't be communicated?
And yet, John Lydon's sentence won't leave my brain. It's been circling for a time, becoming suddenly more insistent as I feel stirred out of fearful complacency and the mistaken idea that there will always be time to come back around. I love the arts, yet only feel any degree of skill with language. As I've said in the past, I distrust, and some days actively dislike, the written word, and yet here I am.
I read, compulsively. I don't write, really, certainly not in any meaningful way. I'm convinced I can turn a phrase, but can't sell a convincing fiction to myself, and therefore anyone else; I can't convince myself to even begin. I don't correspond meaningfully. I've grown too afraid of putting my thoughts down and exposing them to others; once out in the world, the words may have power and a life beyond what I imagined.
I think I do believe that the written word is a lie, and spoken words, too. I think in a sense, language is a lie, and I've spent much of my life struggling with how to bend these lies into a tool for sharing (T)truths. I'm never happy with the medium, or the result. Whether I am or not, I almost never feel heard.
Is it possible to use this medium of lies, the only medium with which I have a degree of comfort, to communicate truth? If it's theoretically possible, is it within the span of my skill, talent, affinity? I honestly don't know.
I have things to say. I don't trust my ability to say them, the ability of the medium to convey my meaning, or the ability of readers or listeners to understand.
"Trust me, I'm telling you stories."
Is allegory the only option? There is a power in stories, but it's the power of what's behind them, what fills and propels them, when done well. Winterson, obviously, but I've courted the wrong muse, and my inspirational beloved guides me to shared fandom (and sometimes, dancing). I don't feel meaning,(A)art, (T)truth flow from my lips or fingers; I only feel skill, occasional cleverness, technique, when my entire aesthetic is based on duende.
There's something here, something important. I can't reach it (yet, hopefully). I also can't let it go. I can't escape words; even if I don't speak, don't write, I'm already infected, and it's likely terminal. I need to find a way to live with, and make peace with, this invader. Not a parasite, not a symbiote: can I turn this into a demon who isn't always unwelcome?