Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The intangible nature of complex feelings

Edgar Allan Poe once wrote:
For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words, with even more distinctness than that with which I conceived it.

Which I would have some agreement with. however there are emotional feelings which are in times far more complex and indistinct than I can express in words. Perhaps (as Poe himself observes) the reason for this is that the "thought is logicalized by the effort at (written) expression" and that in itself destroys the idea as surely as dissecting an animal to examine its inner workings kills it.

Like dreams which seem clear during the dream sometimes become intangible, mutating out of reach as we attempt to recall its details. Worse, sometimes I feel that by fitting it to words I change it somehow to be what I said, thus diminishing and obscuring it further.

The intense feelings and emotions that i have felt since Anitas passing are something like this. I feel like some infant overwhelmed by emotion yet unable to express it in any other way than tears and weeping. Worse, there are brief moments of clarity during which somehow I am able to feel at peace with an aspect briefly, only to have it evaporate moments later when other thoughts muscle in and obliterate that waif from my grasp. I am then left knowing that I had found some answer but have lost it again.

I am left feeling that for all the power of intellect to grapple with the world and enable us to do things, that it fails us (me?) when it comes to dealing with ourselves.

1 comment:

writeagenn said...

Poe had a unique and extraordinary talent with words, his mastery of written expression is a delight.
In "The Gold Bug" he explored the separation of perception and reality with stunning effect. Likewise "The Tell tale Heart" - though with a macabre twist.
"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream"