Rendered Fat Content


Follower of
Frans Hals:
The Rommel-Pot Player (c. 1630)

"Nobody ever discloses greater secrets."

I believe, without hard evidence, that we each maintain a unique dialect of how we think. Unrelated to physical speech patterns, this manner of speaking to ourselves results from a lifetime of considering in the most personal possible ways. This voice accompanied us on our most harrowing as well as our most reassuring excursions. It was, quite literally, there then and remembers. It guided most of the figuring out we've ever accomplished. We might just as well consider it our most trustworthy friend.

It's a great gift when we're able to HearOurselvesThink.
Much of the internal dialogue we carry on with ourselves seems to preconsciously occur. Our thinking voice might primarily guide us without our being fully aware of its guidance, for thinking might occur in deafening silence yet still somehow manage to communicate much. As a writer, my thinking voice is the one I see on the page after I finish writing. It's the one I copyedit to bridge the gap between my native colloquial thinking pattern and a more regular public one. When I listen to my manuscript and my laptop recites that prose, I suppose it makes my primary implicit experience explicit. It allows me to HearMyselfThink, a gift that not even my thinking bestows since much of that seems to occur without my awareness.

I whisper into my inner ear, and I never don't hear it, but it seems rare and a genuine gift to hear vestiges of that same voice, that most familiar speech pattern, entering via my external audio ports, my ears. I notice myself fidgeting, for it feels disconcerting to witness that such intimacy might be externally heard by just anybody, even me. Then, the source of this experience seems disembodied, as if emanating from an unseen source, even though it seems apparent that it comes from those words printed or displayed on that very page before me. What strange surgery extracted and externalized this formerly purely internal dialogue?

My writing might be mere transcription. I remain largely gratefully unaware of the details of this process. Again, without hard evidence, I believe that learning to write mostly amounts to learning not to notice how it’s accomplished. The early hyper-self-awareness serves as absolute poison to the craft. It produces crap because it tries to know the unknowable and show off what nobody could ever really display. Once one learns to let go, that internal dialogue formerly exclusively reserved for and between me, myself, and I might be reasonably transcribed. However, that process must, by necessity, remain just as pre-conscious as that internal dialogue proved. To make the grand implicit explicit demands some meta-implicit skills, ones perhaps just as personal and unique as anyone's thinking dialect tends to be.

Writing must be an act of discovery rather than simply some transcription. The voice dictating the prose seems so familiar, yet it usually speaks in inaudible registers. The insights it imparts were always supposed to be personal. Presenting even the lesser of these should seem quite dangerous. Others might learn more than what I really think, but how. Nobody ever discloses greater secrets.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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