Thursday, June 27, 2019

Communication Error: Spilling voices

June 12, 2019 by Nate Downe, contributing writer

Jogging at a standstill, layering yourself into position, and dripping into place—not unlike a gelatin mould of yourself. Voices are running wild, and they are running nowhere. Where exactly are you going, voices, and are you not already somewhere you wish to be? Spending time devising ways to spend time isn’t exactly useful right now, if ever at all. 

We are told by voices frequently and with such authority that we ought to be doing something else, or that we should be doing something more important; it is as if we are expected to split ourselves into two. One of us is conforming to the rules and regulations of our “ought to” selves, while the other is the actual one here, right now. It is the former that looks as if they are in motion but goes nowhere, and the latter that slowly drips away.

Communication Error is a column in every issue of Nexus looking at communication issues.

With copious amounts of so-called “freedom,” our first self buys into our social contracts that it believes are ours to begin with, because, after all, that is what “we” wanted, isn’t it?  

When the edge of the knife feels as smooth as the softest pillow, it is time to wake up. Your pillow is not that soft and knives are not that dull. Our second self, however, is already here and experiences the pillows and knives as they are, not as others wish them to be. After all, what are we listening to: voices or feelings?

Written in red all over the walls, our obligations yell at us, but at least the walls have no ears and cannot hear silly voices, unlike us. Come to think of it, the voices are in our heads… what a silly metaphor. Most people do not take that phrase to be a metaphor, and yet where are there voices? Literally? Are they swimming around in the bloodstream or the neurological pathways? Only the ears perceive sounds and voices, and only we can understand laughter. Perhaps the voices reside in the mind, but that too is only figurative. 

If we spend all of our time planning our time—living right now, for the future that may never be—then we are layering ourselves into a position that does not equally serve us as it does our voices. “Then what shall we say back to the voices?” another voice asks.

What would you like to say? Where is your voice?

“I miss you,” said a voice. Another voice whispered only laughter. And a third voice murmured, “They are already gone.” Which one are you—or do you hear no voices?

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