Monday, August 25, 2014
Our light bulb moments are as ping pong balls of illumination bobbing occasionally above the surface of the Shibbolethular.
It’s true that the light seems ON for most of our waking moments, and it’s truer that from time to time it seems ON enough for us to consider that we have been sufficiently illuminated so as to proclaim to one and all of our eurekae. But in reality we exist and persist in a kind of frothing soup, a swirl of gloopy, half-done / half-begun, half unknown spickle spockles of wift, waft and whobbicle.
I suppose what we long for is a perpetuity of distinctness — clear cut emotions and thoughts like the kind our fictional heroes and heroines experience.
Oh to be HAPPY or EXCITED — even ANGRY or SAD if you know it and you really want to show it and clap your hands.
But the world is more “in progress” than even the most speculative WIP, and the Here and Now demands that we surf mainly on a wave of the Shibbolethular. Our fictional heroes and heroines resemble us more than we resemble them. Their lives have distinct beginnings, middles and endings, and their journeys are all plotted out according to rules laid down in a multitude of HOW TO MARKET YOUR FICTION ebooks and tattoos. Better still, their motives are so clear as to be worn on a sleevitude of cover illustrations and tightly written blurbs.
Play Shibbolethular with your characters, plots and motivations, and you’re sunk as a writer. The ONE word, the ONE thought, the ONE action: these are what your final edits demand.
I begin to wonder if we have been hoodwinked by the image of the light bulb as a metaphor for creative voila. It’s undoubtedly the case that when all of the pieces of a conundrum drop into place, all is c’est la voila vie, but this can only ever be the result of much swimming around in the Shibbolethular. When you’re in THAT place, it does no good to try to race ahead to Miracle Inspiration Land — to desire the ONE word, the ONE thought, the ONE action. Here, you must be free to drift as no fictional hero or heroine is ever permitted to do — unless you’re in some kind of slipstream novel drawing heavily on Joyce, Burroughs, Gazza and that hapless drunk from The Pogues.
But that’s today.
My swirls of thought are as swamps, when tomorrow they will be electron storms or fire crackles, possibly hurled doughnuts.
Nonetheless, the distinction between the qualities of fact and fiction remains the same: both are entirely made up, according to differently similar rules.
You want serious philosophising on a Bank Holiday Monday?
Try His Divine Munificence, The Yeged-Godi...