Give Up the Dream

by Tom Swift

Sometimes an utterance — whether an essay, a book review, a personal communication, whatever — comes to mind with such clarity. It makes me giddy. It’s about all I can think about. Or want to. For an hour or more. In my head, it’s forceful or sweet or tender or provocative. But then … when I actually compose … not so much. It’s like the version in my mind put together parts that are truly disparate and should remain so, at least so far as written communication is concerned. The demands of words on page or screen, if they are to be understood by another, break up the seemingly brilliant utterance, humbling me. Sometimes the disparity between what is perceived and what can be produced makes me feel like a fool. I used to get frustrated by this dissonance. I wonder now if it’s not merely another form be enjoyed. The movie-of-the-mind version. So what if it cannot be exactly transcribed? Does that make it lesser?