Quiet musings… day #12 – Granddad, syntax, and fish

What my Nan said she saw before my granddad died: My Uncle’s ghost standing in the doorway while she ironed clothes. She said “you can’t take him yet, take him next week”; he died exactly a week later.

What that was: Thought evoking, and chilling.

What I had when I was younger: A strong belief in the paranormal, but this faded with age. The magic of life seemed to dissipate somewhere, almost dissolving into thin air and leaving the ugly, hard face of truth to glare at me mockingly. What is possible and impossible now seems so well-defined, and yet we are still standing in the darkness. We’ve no idea why we’re here, really, do we? Now, where did I put my bubble?

What I think we are: Far enough into the New Year now for it to be weird when people wish us a happy one.

What I love: The beauty of language. Language is a wonderful thing. It allows us to speculate about an infinite number of ideas and theories, and it allows us to express ourselves in the most wonderful way. When our awkward bodies may give our motives away, or not portray the true intent of our presence as we desire them to, it is language that can save us. I remember hearing the game show host on Slumdog Millionnaire saying ‘computer-ji lock kiya-jaye’ in Hindi (which translates to something along the lines of “computer (respectful), lock in the answer”) and thinking how beautifully it rolled off the tongue. I spent many weeks fumbling the phrase around my mouth, as some sort of catchphrase or tag line that people adopt every once in a while. I wonder what person thought such words up and arranged them in such a melodious fashion? Words seem to flower when they are spoken, in mind or out loud.

Why I read and write: Aside from the burning thirst for knowledge and understanding and feeling of control, I love how words can take you, wholly, in such a blissful and complete moment. The syntax a lavish musical score – the symphony of the written word, gracefully moving up and down the great stave upon the paper; sweeping, flying – bird-like, modal – Lydian, and at the other end of the spectrum – crushing and dissonant like some Locrian death march, or that itch on the bottom of your foot that you just can’t quite satisfy, but all equally emotive and encompassing nonetheless. In terms of interests and personal fulfillment, it is the very reason to take another breath, and above all, it is in the hope that my words will be spoken, in someone’s mind or aloud.

What Busted say: I’ve been to the year three thousand, not much has changed but they live under water, and your great great great grand-daughter, is pretty fine.

What I think: Your great great great grand-daughter would not be “fine”, she’d be a fish.

JP Collins


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