Here free writing is used as an art form to capture the immediacy of the lived experience. Recording or writing in vivo, – a live recording captures glimpses of a running commentary on actions, thought, images and dialogue with the self as both observer and observed. Sometimes, these emerge as micro-scripts in the form of short written narratives, or audio pieces. On other occasions, the result is more obscure.
The micro-scripts were flying through her brain now. Glimpses of things, threads and fragments of thought. Snatches of sentences, phrases and words. It was hard to stop them. She wasn’t going mad – was she? She felt quite well yet her mind reeled out a running commentary on almost everything she did, as she did it. Live. Was this part of schizophrenia, or mania? Or synaesthesia? Images sparked off words, words and more words. What brain pathways were firing up here? She’d seen people write when they were troubled. Mountains of scrawlings everywhere, sideways, upside down, on the backs of things, on newspapers, with frantic diagrams like force fields. Often, it took a lot of searching to find the underlying theme.
No, this was all quite coherent, linked and ordered once out on the page. She had learned to harness this rushing wind. Like the trains that woke her one night entangled in her hair and dreams. The thoughts and images would come, nearer and nearer to the surface, effervescent and bursting. That night, she had woken at the zenith, sitting upright, the images fully blown in her mind and the idea formed. She had felt alert, poised, clear-headed, energized, decisive, ready to act.
She needed space alone to give into this. To attend deeply, let it come, meditatively and capture it all before it vanished.
The music started – more as a single note at first – circling round the room above her head. She chose to lie on the floor and shut her eyes. She was always surprised by the vivid imagery. She was not disappointed. As the sounds became louder and more complex, she was transported on a journey. Round the world. Into the depths of the ocean, rushing across wide canyons, to the tops of mountains into bustling markets in Marrakesh, into crowds of people in foreign lands. Places she had been to and also places she had never seen. All thrown up in front of her eyes in startling detail, technicolour and immediacy . As the music became more intricate, so did this cinema of imagination behind her eyelids. All she had to do was to lie back. Dizzy now, she closed her eyes and watched. As the music untangled itself, slowed down to its original single note then faded away, she felt herself being set down on a long runway.