Saturday, June 20, 2009

Emily Dickinson Syndrome...but without the poetry

Emily wrote in her diary, "It was baking day . . . While my hands work, my mind sets off for wider parts. If it returns with treasures, I inscribe them on whatever is at hand." In another entry she wrote, "Tonight the needle exhausted my fingers -- while my mind flew away. The flight gave them no pause!"

It's the self thought, the reflective, the contemplative possibility of doing something more than what is seen. I often find my mind strolling through a daydream while my hands or body have a different task to complete. I am mutely aware of what I am doing rather than how I am doing it, and when it's done -- I laugh at my attempt.

Emily wrote about writing letters to her friends that she hadn't spoken to in weeks. "As the conversation progresses, my thoughts -- impatient -- speed on -- too quick for my pen. Then I fear they will scatter to the corners and escape to Eternity!"

The physical act of writing use to thrill me when I would set my pen onto my paper and watch as words would flow, then trickle, then dribble, then pause. But it's true, what Emily wrote about her "impatient" thoughts speeding, sometimes I lost them in the act of trying to write it down. My pen used to be able to keep up with my thoughts, but now -- I have to contend with a cramped wrist and pen imprints on my finger. Typing, ahh, now there's a skill everyone should acquire or aspire to obtain. Now, my fingers are quicker than my thoughts. My problem now is . . . spelling.

Emily wrote that she did not go to church on Sunday, but used "the morning of the Lord for writing while the others [sought] his presence in the pews." She had issues. "We two have been at odds --" she wrote. But, even when she was at odds, she admits "I feel as if 'grace is poured into my mouth' and I write what is too sacred to speak."

It is a complicated relationship. God. Christ. The Holy Spirit. Me. Sometimes, I find myself all over the place bumping into things and knocking them over or knocking myself over. Everyone else (God, Christ, The Holy Spirit) is still in the same place, except for me. Right now . . . I'm standing a little off center of everyone.


IWA (e - va) said...

I hate to admit it, but I have never ever heard of Emily Dickinson... does that make me sound unrefined!

But I do love the passages you highlighted... I too have been feeling a little off centered lately!

I really enjoy your writing!

Calidore said...

Not heard of Emily Dickinson? I have to admit, if not for the fact that I was an English major, she would have remained a mystery to me as well. LOL.

I enjoy reading your posts, too ... they're lovely and funny and make me miss Hawaii all the more.

Siana Burgess said...

I find I do what Emily does "daydream" while driving LOLOL It is more than a bit disconcerting especially when I am just about to kiss someones "muli" LOLOL And then Puni shouts my name and I'm like... "What? I saw that, stop startling me!!!" LOLOL :) She knows better. Thats why hard when your sister knows you like a book and yes Rita the lure of the internet sucked me right in. I am now going to.... Step away from the computer! LOLOL

Sam said...

I prefer writing by hand. The movement has more of a physical flow to it, even though it's a lot slower.