Wednesday, May 21, 2008

words and letters

excerpt from Shalimar: Salman Rushdie

So today - been thinking about words and language and its use. Most times on the blog, I tend to write the way I speak (ha!) and go off at tangents frequently and speak too fast - so I'm told - but then get back on course again - hence the numerous brackets found in one sentence. Someone once used this skiing term; 'linked recoveries' - I've never tried to ski and don't intend to - but apparently there's a way you steer yourself down - zig-zag style to keep yourself on course - well that I think is what happens with the tangental thoughts. Hub on the other hand likes to illustrate a point with a story - a parable really - but only at the end of it all do you realise that the story told has absolutely nothing to do with the topic in hand - but hey - that's communication ...

Anyway where is this all going? Letter writing was going to be my real topic here. There's a film (like Central Station) where the lead character writes letters for other people...

Letter writing for other people seems to have evolved into a sideline for me. In this country, the written word commands a lot of power. Here, firing off an email with the subject header 'notification of intended legal action' can release unpaid funds within a matter of hours. I've no problem with launching into battle via the written word (and fighting to win) - in fact I'd rather write than phone. So I get co-opted to write on various people's behalves (behalfs?); I've fired off accusatory missives, complaints, counter-claims, damning indictments, pleas, declarations of intent, job applications and even drawn up press releases to re-launch jazz musicians. At the moment I'm embroiled in a 4 year long bureaucratic battle to win back someone's house - sold for the price of 2 pints of milk. Yesterday evening, I drew up a family friend's (dream) proposal for a township music school (that is currently being built) and now find myself more deeply involved.. let's see..

So anyway - as in that film (or maybe it's a different one) love letters would make a pleasant change - to have someone come, sit down and tell their story of yearning or betrayal or forgiveness or aging or something.. I'd sit and listen calmly, then craft a simple, perfect letter to work some magic....

This is really getting a bit long but who cares. There was a time when someone who I'd been in love with once, came back into my life and I asked them to leave me the message I'd always wanted to hear - the 'closure' thing and so they picked up the phone and dialled my number and left a message along the lines of 'Far Away I always thought you were a sweetie and it's a shame it never worked out but these things happen xx.' And that was it. And later I went home and played it back a couple of times and listened and smiled. Perfect. An ending.

Just like in the movies.

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