Hear Here

I’m not sure how to talk about this. It’s not something you should say often. I hear voices. Not impressions nor ideas, nor urges, voices. Sometimes they come to me with a word, and sometimes a whole line. They do not tell me to do awful things. Heck, they do not tell me to do wonderful things. It might be better if they did. All they tell me to do is to dictate, at some point to add to the text using my own voice.

I know how to quiet them, if quieting them is what I seek. It’s easy. I simply let pass what they have to say, writing none of it down. I can make the voices outside my head louder than the voices inside, drowned them out. This is done most often by watching something on the TV, falling into a hole in YouTube, or binging on Netflix. Video that works most effectively are ones that have nothing to do with consciousness, Buddhism, mysticism, society, history, spirituality, or politics.

Sometimes I will slip, accidentally find myself listening to some instrumental music, or reading a book of poetry, or catching a conversation with Paul Muldoon on the OnBeing podcast. Something about the talk about talk, and language, or the sample of poems, and the space created between and without words. The voices return. They come subtle with some interesting anecdote and ask me to conjugate.

I am in the car. I am in the kitchen. I am incognito being an upstanding citizen. And I wonder sometimes about my friends who have cultivated their lives in such a way that they have time and space meant to do nothing but listen (and of course to take down this dictation crudely). I wonder if their love is greater than mine, if there courage is deeper. I wonder if they are happier, living in concert with the voices. If they even hear them. Or if they write for another reason.

It’s a calling. It’s a sickness. It might simply be better to stop paying attention.

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