Posted by Simon Parke, 06 March 2017, 9.12am
The human mind is very powerful, it can take us over for days…for years.
It says, (in my case) ‘I am Parke’ and proceeds on that basis.
I am Parke…and like a dull dictator, it allows me no other existence, beyond its own particular understanding of itself.
This Parke character is a survivor, so he’s hardened, brutalised and narrow as survivors must be.
After all, it’s tough surviving.
And he has strengths and gifts, which he’s used quite well.
But he has also a long list of requirements coagulating around his perceived identity.
He needs to be treated in a certain way, insists on particular outcomes…
...otherwise there’s trouble.
To that extent, he is like a machine, working on a narrow, unalterable course… but smooth running if oiled.
And Parke will be in control.
(He can get angry and savage if threatened.)
Though whisper it quietly, but I know from experience there is someone more real than Parke.
This figure is more difficult to find, with different origins from the dictator.
And coming from a different place, he doesn’t quite speak the lingo.
It’s not a national language, there’s no standard dictionary and no conventional grammar… though echoes of their presence can be heard in the delicate and coloured shifts in feeling, in the flowering of a meaning, in a realisation, in a smile, in the silence, in a moment during the film, in something released, in a water colour, in the darkness, after the tears, in some fragile and momentary calling…
Parke tries to keep order. He treads heavy-booted over such things, for the language is different, nonsensical, not real at all, there’s no ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
And Parke wants a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Is that too much to ask?!
Instead, like candle smoke, I sense something pass through me, a sweet ghost, no answer to anything…and the answer to everything.
Parke rough hands it away in frustration, in irritation, ‘I don’t have the time, frankly!’
Though maybe this illiterate and elusive self lingers for a moment… like the setting orange sun before sinking in the sea.
Illiterate but clear, elusive but enduring, my other self chortling like a stream