So, here it is. Or, I should say, here we are. Again.
It is not enough to know a language, to be able to immerse yourself in it. It is not enough to feel every comma, taste every meaning, thrill at the touch of a sibilant. That is the plain truth. It is not enough.
What you really need is the power of flight. You need to leave the language behind you like you would shed your clothes before stepping into the shower. Because, if you must have it frankly, the language just gets in your way.
The problem is though, that you become accustomed to the language. It is easy to become expert at spelling "loquacious" or learning to distinguish between the purposes fulfilled by a semi-colon rather than a colon. It easy because it is safe. The well known warmth, like that pair of threadbare cotton panties that appreciates the roundness of your bum just so, tenderly, is welcoming. It does not require squeezing or coaxing or the commodity that is hardest to come by, the courage to squeeze and to coax.
I do not talk about the ordinary, everyday courage that you need to put on lipstick and smile at a stranger without wondering whether there's lipstick on your teeth. I talk, rather, about that particular brand of courage that you borrow from insanity.
To think, first, and then to believe that those thoughts must be not proffered but thrust in to the mind of another, it takes a special sort of something. Let us pretend it is bravery. Let us even pretend that at least in some cases it is welcome. Dickens, comes to mind. Austen is another. And yet those names themselves should frighten any but the most foolhardy, surely. To follow in the deep trenches left by those lithe footsteps. Presumption itself must tremble at the thought.
Well satisfied, chastened, even, you beat a determined retreat. The fingers might itch in passing, keys might receive lingering looks and wistful sighs but the chin remains ever defiantly raised and the heart skips hardly a beat. Some thing lies in abeyance.
But you must write e-mails, after all. People need to keep in touch. Donne, that wise man, said once I believe that no man was an island. Even less of an island is a woman. Some might say she is more an oasis where Arabs and camels talk to the palm trees, as they chew on dates. The trick is to strike the right note in the e-mail. To never cheat, never flirt, never even try to look up that tempting skirt but to keep the note informal, informative and always without a flourish. That is the way to keep that some thing abeyed.
Maybe just the tiniest quip. A quip can do no harm. It is lighthearted, aiming to do nothing but create a smile in passing. A venture at a pun, maybe. You know old So-and-So enjoys his puns. There is no malice in a pun, unless it is intended. Everyone knows that. And all too quickly, the email is done. There is only so much that can happen in one life and the telling of it tends to create reduction. Embroidering is out of the question. That argument has been argued to a conclusion. There is not even anyone else to email.
And yet, those fingers - they will itch. Those looks, they will linger and those sighs most of all will insist on wisting fully. The monitor wists back. The keys glisten. The rising flood of thoughts must leave now. Must. leave. now.!
So, here it is. Or, should I say, here we are? Again.