A lot of the time I wish paper was ceramic, glossy, colorful, with designs and brush strokes and pictures moving all over it, because then I might stop losing myself word by word to a world which has nothing to give back. I want to write on an Egyptian Urn, where pen strokes aren’t an escape from reality but an extension of it, where the words take form and dance around one another, where beauty is writing, and writing beauty, where happiness finally appears more than heartbreak. Words are predisposed to sadness because there’s no movement; they’re stationary, and there is an inherent emptiness in a form, a medium in which thoughts can’t choose to dance even if they wanted to.
Paper just doesn’t do justice to the complexity, the fluidity, the intimacy of the soul that is possible if writing could be painted in motion and for the entire world to see. Neither thoughts of hatred and ugliness nor those of love and beauty would, could differentiate from each other. Each would take hold, wrap arms around the next, and swirl and swim into deep blues of depression and potent crimsons of passion, into the personal intimacy of a single purple consciousness. Writing is too limited by the angry dichotomy of the colors of the world, of black and white, the clear contrast between something and nothing, one and the other, “us” and “them,” distinctions which don’t build Mending Walls, just walls. Words appear too arrogant, placing themselves haughtily—as if doing a favor—on what they believe is otherwise only a blank page.
Writing gives the illusion of comprehension to a people relentlessly ignorant, unable to understand what is put right in front of them. Used as an escape from the reality of what is known and felt and experienced, its apparently unwavering façade pales in comparison to the truth of the real, the Pipe which must have been behind the Pipe. It pales because as they see it, “you” and “me” are only five letters together, and “love” is only four. Together or apart, how can that be enough? How can any number be enough? How can “beautiful” only be worth nine? Believe me when I say nine is not enough, and neither is ten, because numbers can’t dance any better than letters can.
But you can dance! You dip and turn and stretch and spin and I see writing come alive in your movements, words form out of your every nuance. You bend down and twirl around and I see “love”; you twist your body over and curve your arms above your head and I see “beautiful.” In movement, I can reach out and touch the “you’s” because they are you, and they are me too. Each syllable is connected to the next in ways the world can never imagine, mixing and molding into sights and sounds and feelings, slowly stepping closer and closer to what they were made to be, to do. Every blue to every yellow, every pink to every green, every red to orange to black to white all mixed up into the words of motion until every color is so close I don’t even see the “you” and “me” anymore, only a bursting and whirling fluidity and understanding that could never occur any other way.
If only the world could see how the loves dance with the hates, the reds dance with the blues, the “you’s” dance with the “me’s,” maybe then they would understand that they can read the porcelain perfection and purpled intimacy; maybe the world would see the beauty always present below writing’s surface, below the mere meanings of letters and words and sentences and paragraphs; just maybe then they would see the souls dancing together on the page and finally realize that this is what they’ve been missing all along.
I mean, it almost makes you wish the world wasn’t so colorblind.