Talking’s OK

Talking’s ok, but writing’s better because it’s still there when you’ve finished.

You see, if you only ever talk, there’s nothing left afterwards. It’s not like when you shine a torch up into the sky, at night, making its beam speed away into deepest space – always there, always flying through the universe – your beam of light on an everlasting journey. No it’s not like that with talking. Talking is soaked up; the words disappear into the gaps down the furniture, or out of the window, or under the floorboards. It’s more like when you breath into the air on a cold morning – there’s a bit of mist and then it’s gone. That’s all talking is, really – breathing while making a sound.

And nobody records talking. Even though we can, nobody does. Not actual talking – only special talking like making a speech or saying a poem. Not just normal talking; nobody records that because it would be too weird. It’s like the same way we do with photos – nobody takes pictures of themselves on the couch watching telly, or ironing, or washing up. Mostly we take pictures where we make everyone smile or stand together. And even the pictures we call ‘natural’ aren’t really natural – they’re staged too. The photographer will say ‘try and look natural’, because everyone knows we’re just pretending to be natural, acting natural for the camera.

The other problem with talking is that it’s hard to remember any of it afterwards. It’s hard to remember anything anyone has actually said, ever, if you think about it. Can you remember exactly what words you used yesterday? Can you remember anything you said last week? Even on the times you know you said something really important, or your friend, or your mum said something really important, can you remember what they said? I mean exactly what they said?

No, writing’s the future – writing’s there forever once it’s done. Those words are there waiting, ready for someone, anyone, to pick up and read.  Do you see?

“And therein lies the solution – I must surely learn how to write! I must make an indelible record of events!” she exclaimed, putting the book down.

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