Sentences in a Second

Twenty years ago in this situation I might have lit a cigarette. My head felt as empty as my stomach, and I kept glancing at the clock. In fifteen minutes the laptop would be alone again. I had to shower and start the real part of my morning, as if this work in my imagination wouldn’t affect everything else I did during the rest of the day. These sentences in my head frustrated me. My writing wasn’t real? I was trying to get words on the screen before finishing my first cup of coffee because I knew, more in my body than in my head, that the experience would help make everything I did during the following ten or fifteen hours easier. One clear sentence would be enough. I couldn’t do this on my own. Maybe one of my favorite thinkers could rescue me psychologically. My hands knew where his hardcovers were on my shelves, and my unconscious mind seemed to sense which book could help me. Seconds later, I was leafing through a volume of his correspondence with Freud, and then I was reading a letter he wrote to Freud in March 1911. I was still on the opening sentence when I sensed this wouldn’t be an ordinary reading experience. The reader in me was doing something unusual. He wasn’t focused on the words. His imagination seemed in control. My imagination became his imagination, or vice versa. I pictured Jung at his desk, late at night, writing to his older colleague in Vienna. It was as if I were inside his mind, and I saw more images than words. Seconds, or a minute later, I was back at my laptop, and several sentences seemed to appear on the screen all at once. My writing work was done, for now.

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