Dear Dirty America


Tiny Little Jewels Of Reality

August 22
11:00 2012
Los Angeles

From the Love of Zero, 35mm film by Robert Florey

For all of his moments of fumbling haziness, Hunter S Thompson dictated the woes of a nation with supreme clarity. For all of his drug usage, there was one type of high he could never top:

Every once in a while, but not often, you can sit down and write a thing that you know is going to stand people’s hair on end for the rest of their lives–a perfect memory of some kind, like a vision, and you can see the words rolling out of your fingers and bouncing around for a while like wild little jewels before they finally roll into place & line up just exactly like you wanted them to… (Kingdom of Fear, p 112).

When I read that passage, I mentally marked it as “one of those” inspiring paragraphs about the power and magic of the written word. Words bouncing like wild jewels is exactly how those really deep, passionate moments of writing clarity seem.

It’s the writing high. In the zone. Sometimes I think it’s the moment the writer’s consciousness merges into a much larger superconsciousness and creates a flow from the much vaster pool of wisdom and knowledge, which rushes into the inferior human mind.

There is sometimes an eerie quality to those moments when the writer receives a kind of vision. A rush of clarity. Whole sentences, or pictures will come to mind. Am I being dictated to? is a good phrase to shout into your empty apartment during these moments. Your fingers might be trembling. You might be sweating. You might feel somebody is standing behind you, watching what you type into your computer screen. If you think you’re channeling a higher energy, demand, Clarity now!

One point of writing might be thrusting your awareness into personally uncharted waters of consciousness, stirring it up a little, and then seeing what happens. The most difficult part, possibly, is to communicate whatever understandings were had into your particular language, with coherency and the proper profundity.

Writing has always been my mind-expanding drug. Not LSD, or Morning Glory seeds. But the tiny explosions of insight while reading about a subject or topic or idea I hadn’t known about. Or discovering a new way to use language. A new way to line up words, to give them a musical quality, as well as a message. Even arrange words in a way that is visibly pleasing on the page.

Manipulating language. As Terence McKenna tried to teach us: The world is made of language. Whether you call it God, Gaia, or electromagnetic waves. Language is the only tool we have to describe our greatest mysteries. And that means, ultimately, that we should be asking, How adequate is our language in describing our existence?


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1 Comment

  1. Light Raker
    Light Raker June 01, 01:16

    Beautifully crafted article. The word is light and life-essential and eternal. Sometimes the words come hard and fast and sure, climaxing in a message that spills messy grace on a page or two. My joy release is when a reader can take the words into consciousness, imbibe, twist and dig, ascribe meaning through the exchange… turning key strokes into lasting flesh and bone.

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