Saturday, March 12, 2005

Humility via hypergraphia

While reading through National Geographic 3.05 I came across a picture of a woman surrounded by three tight white walls, all covered in writing. Her arms were covered in writing. The title of the page was “extreme expression”. Amazed, I dove in to the picture and thought, “There must be a treasure trove in here. Look at the extent of this writing. There must be unfettered consciousness here, of this woman releasing. There must be cosmic importance caught red-handed in the subtly of all these words! This is so close to my ideal of a white room.

I could only make out bits and pieces of the writing, though. “What to do what to do” was clearly legible. “Let me go let me go let me go” trailed off into illegibility on her raised forearm, beneath the pen in hand. “Sun Moon Sun Moon” accompanied a drawing amidst the words. I searched for the cosmic meaning that must be locked in these writings.

I then move on to the article, which discusses hypergraphia, a clinically diagnosed maniac condition characterized by a irrepressible writing. As the article states, “it may also lead to hyper-religious feelings and a sense that even the most trivial events are filled with heightened meaning and cosmic importance”. Blogging itself is collective hypergraphia.

“Ah, but the trivial events are filled with heightened meaning and cosmic importance!”, or so I defended. And therein came the rush of humility as I realized that perhaps I was simply a recovering hypergraphia, or perhaps a hypergraphist who has lost their pen.

Now granted, the two previous blog entries are nearly the sum of my previous writings to date for the past year – not exactly irrepressible writing. But I do have the ego that says, if I can get my act in gear, my thoughts do have cosmic importance. It’s that feeling of being in a movie while you are sitting at a gas station waiting for the car to fill up. Or that question that lurks in the background, constantly asking “would the reader of my biography get bored by this point?”

The conclusion of these thoughts, besides humility? I can only come up with more humility.

It was with irony that just a few days before, I had a night of drinks and cigars with Mark, Kathy, and Justin in which my drunken state pushed me over a social fine line of silence and participation. I ended up writing in scrawls afterwards, endlessly up and down over the margins of left over newspapers, on my restaurant receipt – I suppose I could have gotten to my arms if I didn’t run out of steam around 1 AM. Hypergraphia.

The next blog entry (Verb, action) is what I wrote.


Anonymous said...

It is a manic condition, not a maniac condition.

6:00 AM  
Geoff said...

literary license done on purpose :-)

5:16 PM  
Jenny said...

What issue of National Geographic was it that had the article on Hypergraphia? There is a film about the Marquis De Said starring Geoffrey Rush that illustrates this condition extremely well.

7:32 PM  

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