Sophie Talking to Sophie

2016

1:

I’m ready now.

2:

Speak up a bit, please.

1:

I’m ready now.

1:

Okay.

2:

Well?

1:

Okay, I’m going to tell you what I’m thinking about.

2:

That is not a new thing. Why did you have to be ready for it?

1:

Because I want to try and articulate myself more clearly than usual. I normally feel like I start talking, and then I lose the… you know, the trail.

2:

Aha.

1:

So… okay, it’s not completely ready in my head, but I’m just going to try.

By the way did you know what the word ready used to mean?

2:

No?

1:

It comes from the word ‘read’ which apparently started off being about the idea of ‘giving advice’… and then, it came to mean ‘explaining something quite obscure.’ And then later it came to mean just its normal meaning of ‘reading ordinary writing’… wait, was it like that? Ah yes, and so when you’re ‘ready’ it is to be prepared for a situation because you’ve read something properly or because you’ve taken the right amount of advice… do you see?

I will remember to tell you the book it was from.

2:

Ok…

Well are you ready?

1:

I guess I am.

Please don’t sound so impatient. It is important for me that you listen.

2:

Okay. I’m listening.

1:

So.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the feeling of being stuck. Of feeling slow, when everything else is fast. And then I wonder if everything really is fast, or if it’s just that it appears fast. And so I see myself standing on this track, and I see stuff and people move past me so fast that they sort of lose their shapes – they just become colours, and light, and trails of light, and trails of colours. And my eyes can’t follow, and then in the end, I decide to only focus on one spot.

2:

And then what happens?

1:

Well, nothing. Absolutely nothing. But my eyes stop hurting.

2:

Have you ever tried, in your thoughts, to start moving as well?

1:

What is so difficult to understand, you know, is that I think I am already moving but I just don’t know it. 

Or, perhaps I’ve just become too aware of the speed.

2:

It’s a bit like when you’re in a train, right, and two things happen…

One is that you start to move, and in the beginning your eyes are trying to catch up with the movement, and if you look at someone else’s eyes who sit in front of you, their pupils are moving so incredibly fast, like a… speedometer or something, until the outside just becomes stable, and when you look out you just see an image of the landscape moving slowly.

Or. You’re sitting in the train, and there’s another train next to yours. And then you begin to move, you think, until you realise it wasn’t your train but the other train. Is it a bit like that?

1:

I think so.

So then, as I’m standing there, all these thoughts come into my brain. I can almost see them come in, and then follow them for a bit, and then they disappear. The thoughts could be: why are you not moving?? Why do you ache to move at the same speed as the rest? Why do you think you’re in a hurry?

2:

And do you find answers? Do you answer yourself in that moment?

1:

Well, not really. But I do start to come up with answers, but the answers then enter into the same mesh as the rest. They start to move too quickly as well.

2:

What a mess you’ve gotten yourself into. I wish I could give you some sort of advice…

1:

Don’t think about it. It’s enough that you listen.

Then I have this other image of myself entering this big field, or open landscape of sorts. And I know that I have to start walking. And I also know, that if I had those special skills, perhaps I would be able to see where others had walked before me. Like, I would notice the way the grass was bent, or follow the smells, or even touch the ground and feel the indents of feet. But then I begin to walk, and I can’t do any of those things. And you know what I end up doing?

2:

No?

1:

I zigzag.

And then I keep doing that for a while. And I end up somewhere, which was not far from where I began. But I feel like I’ve experienced something.

2:

Hm….

Do you want to get an ice cream?

1:

Yes.

Oh, by the way. I read the thing about ‘ready’ in a book called A Brief History of Lines by a man whose writing I like a lot called Tim Ingold. And it’s on page 14. Oh now I don’t even know if I understood what he said. But doesn’t matter. It made sense when I spoke to you.

2:

That’s something.

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