Note on Thoreau and the Wild Spaces of Literature
Mark O'Neil

Once I thought for a long time sitting in the Blimpie's near the store where I work how I never chose to learn to read, that I was made, coerced into reading, that not only a little but actually a great deal of pressure had been placed upon me when I was too young to understand things, they said, essentially, that I had better learn to read, that if I didn't learn to read there was something wrong with me, I had better be like the others, do as I was told, I would be beaten, spanked, ridiculed, harmed in some way, this was way before timeouts; I was expected to learn the reading, the language, I couldn't help it, it was irresistible, there was nothing I could do against them because they are so powerful, I was made, made to learn the language, the language that makes up my mind, the space I live in; see? I am made, manufactured. Understand? The mind that they made in me is not very spacious because the mind that is my real mind is hiding. Language, like everything else is empty, meaning it has no independent basis for existence -- it cannot exist without me. Language only lives insofar as I hide myself inside it.
For me a long time, the time I sat thinking at the Blimpie's, is about 15 minutes. My life is meted out into 15 minute intervals. It was on a 15 minute break that I found the space in which to have the thought that all of thoughts I had ever had were in fact not my own. Like Thoreau wrote, to use language is to sculpt not in stone but in the very breath of life itself, so as sculpture is three dimensional and architecture little more than sculpture you can get inside of, my language is an actual place, a space made out of the breath of life itself, your breath and your life, reader, for I can only piggy-back on your soul here; so we are inside one space that is made of the language I am using and I can only guess, the more I write, the more you read, the more we will, might, come to think alike, and maybe, as in the more subtle of the Buddha's teachings, something I can't ever know will suddenly become apparent to you, will appear in your own mind as your own thought, I think it is called The Mind Seal, though that's not it since that is in English, meaning that is a translation and a translation only -- to reiterate; your mind is not your real mind; the mind you know has been manufactured.
It was actually after having read the Thoreau thing cited above that I thought Thoreau's thought on having other ancient people's thoughts by breathing their language into my own soul; I was in fact achingly aware of myself then for I thought maybe something was going to come blasting out of my ass that would rocket me into some ethereal wasteland divorced from this reality, some über-language of the super-literate; but the truth was that the table where my soda sat and Walden lay splayed open was never more ordinary than just then and nothing so foreign than the language of literature, poesy, prosody, all warped somehow into rhetoric in these wild spaces where the soul comes creeping back to claim some of its own space in all of this life's busyness that is made of anything but language; space that is identical with the very possibility of awareness.