I wrote something once, “Words will be the death of me, and in Truth I shall be reborn.”
I think it’s fitting…the difference between words and truth these days, or, perhaps more accurately, Truth these days, is astounding.
We’re talking about style in ficiton writing class last night. What’s style? Out of all of the elements of fiction, I think style is the most difficult to define. It’s more than grammar or syntax. More than mere word choice. But it has little to do with storyline or plot or even character, I think.
If you find that one writer that just zings off the page, it doesn’t matter if he or she rewrites a nursery rhyme or a short story — her style is there, and you know who wrote it.
Mark over at the Naked Soul wrote this post about fingerprints, and it made me think. It made me think that style and fingerprints in that sense, aren’t really all that different.
But back to words.
Had a friend pop back into my life a couple of days ago. That was a complete surprise. He’d disappeared almost 2 years ago without any recognizable warning. I was fortunate enough to get confirmation that he wasn’t dead, so I suppose that was something.
But he popped back into my life, first through messenger, and then through the phone. We talked, we were honest. We cut up and laughed and giggled a lot. We talked about “remember whens” and “what would have happened ifs” til we were both sleepy.
But it wasn’t until I hung up the phone that I realized that, as much as things felt the same, they weren’t the same. Of course they weren’t.
It was some strange space-continuum-warp-hyperspeed-overdrive-something-cool-and-science-fictiony-sounding thing. For the space of an hour or two, we were in a box that was labeled “Fall 2005/Spring 2006” like a school year box, all the stuff that happened within the span of two semesters tucked away. And as we went through the papers, my head must have somehow come outside the box sometime, because my memory of things and his diverged in a rather quaint way.
It was good to talk to him. It was good to catch up. It might even be good to redevelop a friendship of sorts with him again.
But I realized it was different. Once the phone call ended, and I stepped from the box into the oh-so-real 2008, I realized that too much has happened that he wasn’t a part of.
And I have no idea where I’m going with this, and I have to get to class.
I’m just relieved. It was rather confusing that the gulf between us seemed illusory when we were talking and only reappeared when we were not, but then I realized, that the gulf isn’t in how we communicate, but rather, the things about which we communicate.
I thought I should feel sad, like I rediscovered something only to lose it again, but I don’t. I feel relieved.
We were the same.
We are not the same now.
And I am relieved.
I’m just not sure why.