Monday, February 3, 2014


I have a theory about you.

Once I wrote about the constant monologue behind my eyes, where my self talks to myself all day long. Sometimes critically, mostly observationally, I always hear my own voice in my head. A friend read that and helpfully suggested that Xanax quieted her voice and I know she said that with good intentions, but I don't mind my self's voice. I'm a good companion, and I think it's my running internal commentary, always cataloging details, that serves as the foundation for my good memory and love of storytelling. Funny, I never realized the words I typed could be interpreted as confessing a mental imbalance or need for pharmaceuticals. Or maybe we're all a little imbalanced. Don't you think that's more likely? Have you ever tried standing at the center of a teeter totter without letting your legs shake?

I probably remember what you were wearing the first time we met; or, if you were so impressive to me that I was checking myself for social competence, then you reside in a memory's foggy sunglared aura but I know exactly what I wore and said. I probably remember your birthday without Facebook's help. If you told me a secret or exaggerated a recounting a decade ago and have ever wished you hadn't said anything, hoped I'd forgotten, I probably haven't.

Here's my theory: I think we all have voices in our heads. Some people are ruled by their voices. Some of us find confirmation in them. If you can't hear yours, maybe you forgot how to listen.

This post was inspired by the novel A Well-Tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker. Feeling lost and burned out, Julia drops her well-paying job at a NYC law firm. After hearing a stranger’s voice in her head, she travels to Burma to find the voice’s story and maybe herself as well. Join From Left to Write on February 4 we discuss A Well-Tempered Heart. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

This book is a sequel. We read the first one, too - and it was one of my very favorite novels ever. I enjoyed this book, too, but was dissatisfied by the ending. Luckily, the author says the third book is in the works!

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