13th May 2017

Today I’ve been thinking about words, I have been thinking about composition and the thrilling desire to write. What is it that creates in me this irrepressible desire for expression? Or not just expression, for the written word. There is something so mysterious about language, about the way a word or series of words can elicit a physical reaction. There are words that I love; often these words are centred around the natural world, describing something which exists in nature. I adore the names of flowers and plants: Michaelmas daisies, coltsfoot, trefoil, hollyhock, loblolly pines. These are words which create a squirming ache in my stomach, a sensation which is like the first lick of an ice cream – cold and shivery, deliciously rounded and creamy, and there’s a pleasure to it which is indescribable except that I love to try to describe it and I wonder, sometimes, if it is possible that there are really people to whom spoken language, the way it is conventionally used, is merely enough. That it is enough to say: “I like wine”, and not want to describe what it is that happens when the wine is drunk – how it tingles the tongue, the sensation of something filling the mouth with warmth, the flushing of the saliva glands – slightly painful – the acidic, berried, oaked flavour that cradles the mouth and teases the nose. Yet even these words, these descriptive leapings, are insufficient in themselves because beneath all of these words – tingles, warmth, acidic, berried, cradles – are more words, more meanings, more descriptions which defy explanation and I follow them down and down to a place where there is nothing but feeling, a cavernous spaciousness that engulfs me and it is like staring into a void and not knowing, not even beginning to know, what is out there but wanting to cast myself into it anyway.

You can’t speak to another person like this.

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