How to say it?

Impressions come in a flash.  I see, feel and sense them with more than ordinary senses, crisp and clear, but I don’t know them.  Allowing not-knowing promotes their unfolding.  This may sound like an oxymoron.  Let me explain:

An Inuit sits on his sledge, casting his eyes across the glistening whiteness of the snow desert and letting them rest on the gently undulated line of the horizon.  Suddenly, like in a flash, he sees a tropical island beach scene.

He sees everything pure and crisp, but he does not know, what it is.  He has no words to describe the scene, there are no shared symbols in his world and the illusionary “other” world.  The dilemma begins, when he wants to communicate and escalates when he wants to understand.

Back to me, as a writer, expressing a familiar visual or mental insight can already be a challenge.  Images appear unpredicted and instantly and stay for a limited time, only.  Quickly I need to find words to preserve the mental picture, segment after segment.

I go through a process of redrawing the impression.  As time progresses, the image fades, and if the recording takes too long, the recreated image will be incomplete, not as detailed and miss in depth.

The image appears in an instance (no time).  All segments of information are present next to each other, in parallel.  When writing about it, the sections follow one another, like thread on a string, it is a serial, an ongoing process.  Mozart has experienced and expressed this when composing music.

When going through a scene with unfamiliar content thus a lack of or no common symbols, I am thoroughly stuck.  Describing what the journey feels like, the feelings that the scenario evokes is a good start.

The next step would be when my feelings associate the intangible directly with shapes or objects without involving thought or imagination.  Then, a scenario manifests, which evokes the same feelings.

I can say: “It feels like…”  And finally, I drop the “It feels like…” and only describe the complimenting scenario.  I have achieved creating a sensation in the reader, which is similar to my feeling, considering variation in perceptions.

A clarity popped into my head.  This could be the process the painter of an impressionistic or expressionistic painting passes through.  He has an impression with an unfamiliar content, and he wants to convert it into an image.

abstract 1

From google image – no name

Childlike and uncensored, the expressionist paints unfamiliar shapes and colour arrangements.  Occasionally, recognisable objects may manifest, facilitating the occurrence of a similar impression in the viewer’s open mind.

water-lilies-1919-Claude Monet

Water lilies – 1919 – Claude Monet

The impressionist starts with a familiar scene and overlays his feelings by choosing colours of variations of shape, which can be non-conforming with the commonly accepted reality.

What do I do?  I submerse myself into the feelings, let go of this world and wait for familiar words to form around the scenario.  I described this in a poem Finding Words.

I say there, words are eager to help.  They are attracted by deep-felt sensations.  The more my mind permits me to drop into feelings, the stronger the attraction.  Words attach themselves to the impression, they dress it.  And when the words are familiar, the impression appears in a familiar form.

Mostly, the new dress remains incomplete; the reason for the final, written work manifesting, remaining in fragments.  Sometimes, the gaps are small enough, and I find ways to close them.  Sometimes, there is no need for it because the reader can fill in the missing parts.

I have noticed this method of leaving gaps applied in drawings.  When the line is long enough, and its trend is evident, the viewer’s eye completes it to its endpoint, a junction with another line for example.  This method makes the drawing appear light, a floating filigree.

line drawing dove

Dove of Peace – 1949 – Picasso

My eyes and mind are attracted by such drawings.  Completing the lines, filling the gaps, being involved in the creation of the image, causes interest and a sense of self-expression, even it is so minute, hardly not noticeable and often unconscious.

And what happens if many words are attracted but they can’t find a place on the intangible?  Then it remains intangible, un-manifested.  I let it be.  I like to be kind to my darling mind and not pressure it to makeup, something.  There is so much coming, I can hardly keep up with it.

This inexpressible state of reality remains untouched by eyes.  Free from criticism and earthly limitations, impressions grow and glow, perhaps this is where artists reap their ultimate reward.

Believing to know
prevents learning.

Post Scriptum
Dreams and thoughts are progressive, they don’t cause such challenges.  Sometimes, They can be somewhat surrealistic, which means in the realms of Art: the realistic objects are arranged and presented in sub-realistic, unrealistic combination and arrangements.

All inner experiences may evoke one common question: “Where do they come from?  What initiates their occurrence in the mind, the inner eye or somewhere else inside?”

I have wondered about these questions for a long time, and there is a paper on that: Every Thought

And another question: “Where do they go, once we have finished thinking them?”  I have written about this in my paper: Where do thoughts go?


Wolfgang Köhler

10 January 2016
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