The flashing cursor on the blank page was insistent. So he wrote something to make the page less blank. A few little characters on the snowy plane.
Every distraction was welcome. A phone sounded, that annoying whistle tone for a message – he looked over, desperate to look anywhere but here.
Blank, blank, flashing. Tiny pixels all vibrating and cycling on their frequencies, like the atoms that made up the desk the computer sat on, and the plastic of the keyboard, and the fingers that typed there.
Come on! You are wasting time! Use this hour right now. How could it be most usefully spent?
Well, not with this. There is always work to be done, productive things that you could do – you just have to find them, make yourself available, be of use. Maybe do the washing up? No! That’s what you want to do, for some reason – anything but be here, with this.
Save this page now, you know, this could be going somewhere. The click on the little picture of a floppy disk says that you have some pride in this, some investment now. Why do they use a floppy disk icon? I imagine that many of today’s young computer users have no idea what it is. But they click it anyway.
That’s the thing – we do things without knowing why. Like this writing now. We allow ourselves to wander, but don’t wonder. And I think that is a good state to be in – just keep on going.
There is a tribe that has its grammar the other way round – I’ll show you what I mean – when we say we are “looking forward” to something, we mean a future event. But you cannot really see the future, can you? Not like you can see the past. I can visualise what I did this morning, packing my car with luggage, making sure it wouldn’t slide around in the boot… but later today? I cannot see it.
That is why this tribe walk backwards into the future, grammatically. They are looking behind them, at where they have been, but they cannot see where they are going. They embrace not knowing. That is what I’ve tried to do here. I had no idea where this would go. Maybe nowhere. Does it have to?
Well, if you are still reading, then it hasn’t been a total waste of time. Maybe you liked the grammar bit, if I’ve explained it well enough. You see, what it is, they can’t see the … never mind. Maybe you would like to not know too. Think of all the things you don’t know. That can be difficult, because you’d have to know something of them to know you know nothing. But then that wouldn’t be true. I mean, I know that LIBOR is the name for the rate that banks lend to each other. But I don’t want to get into a discussion about it with an economist, I’d quickly exhaust my available information.
But maybe you know things I know not of? Tell me one of them. That helps me see how little I know. It makes this a little less one-sided too. I mean, who wants to be lectured at in a rambling way? Why are words linked together like this? Who is doing the writing, me or the words? I didn’t want to write about banking – but there are the words, staining the screen in Calibri 11.
There’s a creative writing competition on at the moment, and I’m the judge. It is for stories of below 500 words – this has just become 600. In fact, “600” was the 600th word. I like the synchronicity of that, it all came together automatically, without me planning it. The words wrote a story. I think I’ll enter them into this competition.I’m not too worried about it being too long – I think the judge will let it slide.
I’d say I’m in with a pretty good chance of winning, don’t you? I mean, you’ve stuck with it this far.
Things seem to take care of themselves, when you let them.