It’s almost impossible for me to read any Brautigan these days without stopping to tweet or facebook a photo of a particular phrase I love.
This one relates to how we tell stories. Make ourselves heard. An acting exercise at drama school was to tell the room the saddest moment that happened to you.
What we saw is that how we start of with a certain momentum – we know it’s going to be be tough. We have a strategy. When we get overwhelmed, in advance of THE harrowing detail (we know it’s coming), or unexpectedly, during a mundane description, the audience sees the struggle to contain, or the release and the giving in.
There is usually laughter and making light of it, or a mask of waxy neutrality. The worst detail is often thrown away in delivery terms. We don’t dwell. We spend time telling audience about the colour of the carpet. Our distress is displaced.
In telling someone about a nightmare, or a distant memory, the thinking is slightly different. There is the struggle to unpick confusion, fuzziness, the horror, sequence.
There is an effort to convey what we felt and why, to the listener.