Laptop and a desk

There’s an urgency to typing, a certain frenetic momentum to it. The immediacy of words appearing on the screen as I rapidly clack across the keyboard seems to add pressure of time-responsiveness. There are clear rhythms to my typing, sudden starts, sudden stops, accelerandos, rests—I’m barely aware of the smooth plastic pieces depressed by the staccato stabs of my fingers as the press and release of each feels so sudden that I only feel a slight tingling across the tips of my fingers as I come to a close of each frenzy of taps.

My breathing seems to be “in time” with my typing: my breaths deep and further between during the quickened moments and evens back out as my typing slows. Though, this seems tied to the need for immediacy as I type.

I wonder why the pressure of this immediacy exists. As most things, what comes to mind is multivalent: informed by early typing training in schools where time was part of the evaluation of the activity, by my conditioned writing in social media spaces in which someone “sees” as someone is typing and that knowledge implies a need to send the message quickly, and the seeming tie between the speed of thinking and writing.

It feels like my typing rhythms are tied to what I’m writing. This rhythm feels like a blogging rhythm with the frantic energy typing in one direction: a quick draft, a thought form, a grasping. And it feels like the feeling of the day: It’s paced, measured, perhaps a bit dry, it feels like September 28th. But, even as I’m feeling the rhythms of my typing, it doesn’t feel separate from the other rhythms of my typing I’ve felt—the all nighters from my first semester of my MA program, or the visceral pain I felt as I was typing my blog post the day after the Pulse shooting this June.

Those were different rhythms, different days, different graspings, different typings, but they are in my fingers even as I type this reflection.

I’m thinking too of my piano experience, which may explain my reliance on musical terms to describe this experience, as well as the percussive sounds that permeate the space as I type. I’m thinking about the way that my hands “know.” In an a way that isn’t conscious, they know, they move, they generate, they invent, they position into productive forms that allow for reach with ease. It is a knowing tied to a doing; it is a doing through/on/with the body. But it is a knowing, too, that only comes through the encounter: it is only when my fingers come in contact with the notches on the “f” and “j” keys my fingers come to knowing—or when they come in contact with smoothness of keys on my piano.

One thought on “Laptop and a desk

  1. Pingback: touching [writing, writing] feeling | Thomas Passwater

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