Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How Can I Capture A Free Spirit?

This is my last answer to the weird questions I asked about a week ago. I allow myself just 15 minutes to respond and whatever I write during this time I post here (sometimes with the minimum amount of editing).

Capturing a free spirit is like capturing a bubble in your hands. A cage of fingers. A clam snapping shut. A slight sensation of moisture. But when you look inside there is nothing there. Nothing at all. By capturing a bubble you invariably destroy it. The same applies to spirits. Spirits are best kept free. Captured too suddenly they become something else - a trace of what they were - something like ash or a dried-up husk.

If you wish to capture a free spirit intact you have to be careful. They have to be wooed to a safe place and coaxed into staying still. You have to promise them that their capture will be just temporary and of benefit to them. You could tell them they will learn something new, or that they will see something beautiful or unusual. Or you could tell them about the whiff of the dawn and the long lingering dusk of an Arctic autumn - or you could simply tell them that you love them unconditionally. Then they might walk carefully towards you balancing on a line that's not there, their long delicate limbs stretching out tentatively testing to see if it safe. Spirits tend to be shy, slightly awkward, their eyes big and wondering. When they sit they fold onto themselves and are constantly ready to rise without warning.

After they are sitting beside you it is important to move slowly. You have to be sly. You have to reassure them that you care about them and tell them secrets about yourself so that they come trust you and share some of their own. It is then that you have them. Don't let them know. It is easy to stop them from guessing. Free Spirits are naive and want to think the best of people. They take words literally. When they hear you say 'Speak soon.' they assume you mean just that. And if you tell them to take care of themselves they will be touched at your consideration. Like bubbles they are easily hurt. Their skins are as thin as a film of soap.

It is a pity to destroy a them because they are rare and, because of that, inordinately precious. I used to know one intimately, it used to lie beside me when I slept, but one night I moved too quickly and too insensitively and the next day it was gone. It promised me it would always return to tell me of its adventures but I doubt now that it ever shall.


Blogger Anne S said...

Clare, I have enjoyed all your answers to your weird questions.

I was going to have a bash at answering them myself, but gave up in disgust after one or two.

Fri Jul 27, 07:35:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Anne! Yes, they are very difficult questions - even I found them so and I thought the darned things up!

Fri Jul 27, 06:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh, that's moving & thought-provoking. Thank you.

Sat Jul 28, 01:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a kind comment, Elbery - Thank you!

Sat Jul 28, 02:57:00 pm  
Blogger Gordon McCabe said...

Your answers to these questions, Clare, are just about the most impressive thing I've read on a blog. Delicate and enchanting.

Mon Jul 30, 12:12:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, another very kind person! Thank you Gordon.

Mon Jul 30, 06:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully spoken. It very much describes the one I desire.

Sun Jun 19, 11:25:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thank you, Mike. I wish you success.

Mon Jun 20, 07:46:00 am  

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