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Dorien Grey

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The Boggled Mind
1/24/2011 4:23:29 AM

Looking back over a sea of words

*****
From Dorien Grey and Me (http://www.doriengreyandme.com
*****

I was wondering this morning just how many words I have written over the course of my lifetime (yes, it’s that kind of day). Equally important, I wondered how many more words will I have time to write. Life is, after all, but a microscopically tiny island in the sea of eternity.

A quick bit of figuring indicates I’ve written about 152,430 words in this blog alone, (240 entries averaging 635 words each), plus well over a million in my already published books (15 total at an average of 77,000 words each), another 250,000 words sitting in books waiting to be published. And then there are 60-odd years of letters and almost 20 years of copious emails and.....

To have written so many words might imply a vast knowledge of a great many things, but if you’ve been following the bouncing ball of these blogs, you know that’s not true. My knowledge may be broad, but it is also very shallow.

I am constantly awed and humbled by the fact that there are so many things I do not know; so many things that cannot be known. How many grains of sand on earth? How many stars in the sky? Why can we not be better than we are? My mind is easily boggled (“For I am the King of Boggledom”) and I spend a great deal of time in the confusion of wanting to know something I do not and cannot know.

While I do not know why you are reading these words, I’m infinitely grateful that you are. And unjustifiably vain as I am, I suspect that you recognize that beneath the veneer of one person’s egoism (mine, in this case) lies a mirror in which you can discern a reflection of yourself.

Physical touch is the most direct means of communication between any two people, but in lieu of that, words create the bonds which connect each of us to the other. Regardless of how many billions of people there are in the world, words directly link only two: the speaker/writer and the listener/reader. So as far as I am concerned, you are the only other person in the world I can hope to connect with, and who can prove or disprove that I have done so. My mind sends thoughts to my fingers, which convert them to words on a computer screen or piece of paper, which are nothing until your eyes see them and convey them to your brain, which in turn forms the link between us. Only you can determine if I’m successful or not.

John Donne said “No man is an island”, but I tend to disagree. We are all islands in this vast sea of time and space, and it is only the links we establish, largely through words, with other islands which give us the sense, comfort, and security of not being alone.

So I stand on my own little island of “Me”on the periphery of your awareness, way out there on the island of “You”, dressed in my now-tattered Pagliacci clown suit, jumping up and down and waving my arms to get your attention and sending out a steady stream of words in the form of thoughts and impressions and ideas as I can to get your attention.

For the bottom line of all this is that words create a link between “You” and the “Me” and the result is an “Us.” And as long as there is an “Us,” there is hope.

*****
Another entry will be posted next Monday, and I hope you will come by. In the meantime, if you enjoy my blogs, I hope you might consider reading one of my books. You can check them out and read the first chapter of any/every one on my website, http://www.doriengrey.com


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