Textling #51

The question ‘how are you?’ isn’t easily answered. How many ways to say you’re tired? How often can you say you are? Fatigue’s myriad facets – light-headed (as if falling into a faint), leaden, breathless, pain-ridden, dizzy, dopey, feral, fretful, hyper, perfectly still, a form of suspense, of stasis, of falling – are at best interesting to the ‘owner’ who is on the look-out for differently hued sensations when there’s nothing else.

Staying in touch, even by email, is an entangled task. The longer the silence, the more beleaguered the place from which you speak. You emerge, wave your bit of bunting about, and disappear again. Balls are dropped, utterances measured, maybe too harshly. Stand-alone phrases like “I think of you often” which lap at your shore after weeks, months, longer, and practically preclude response, seem like a slap-down, a form of masticated casual kindliness. You feel petty for saying this, bothersome, but imagine you receive a letter in the post and recognize an old friend’s handwriting. When you open the envelope you find it empty.

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3 thoughts on “Textling #51

  1. Good morning Marion,
    The empty envelope analogy is poignant, sharp and perfectly expresses that feeling. I experience something similar with a friend who clicks on like, lurks but never says anything. It is frustrating. A not-conversation… I don’t even know that she has read what is “liked”.
    You and I once spoke about the unseen response still being a response… I do read all your Textlings and often share them, but frequently don’t have the right words- or what I perceive to be the “right” words to respond…. But your circumstances have changed since then, so I shall try harder… Ex

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  2. Thanks, Elena. That you wrote to me after you saw the exhibition at the Foundling Museum, and sent the spoon-card, thrilled me. You ‘thought of me’ (and my work) in a specific, relational way, which made it real and emotionally charged. Generic phrases or ‘like’ ticks feel a bit like pacifiers… Came across this quote by Simine Weil a while ago, can’t remember where: ‘Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity’.

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  3. aww Marjojo this post hits me hard, as I am guilty of that silence you mentioned with emails and as much as I want to deny it, you are probably right about that ‘casual kindliness’ too. For me, it’s also my inarticulateness. If only I can express my thoughts better and faster…but that is really no excuse either…

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