In a flash, you can bridge the impossibly-vast chasm between the lonely islands of two human minds, forging a connection there like a welder with a burst from their hot torch. BRZZPT. The connection only lasts a couple minutes, a page, a few hundred words, sure, but maybe that’s for the best. It’s already a miracle to make two people isolated from each other by the twin vagaries of biology and causality feel the same thing at all, maybe an hour or a day or a year would be too much to properly take in. Maybe just a taste of that shared experience is enough for one go. Let it do its work as it lingers over time, takes root in the mind, grows into a vast field of heaving lilies, spewing forth the perfume of knowledge that we are the each and every of us not alone in these scattered fractured radiating sublime thoughts. In a flash, you know, you can do that.
In a flash, you can really only say one or two things in specifics, introduce two or three people or places or things, but that’s okay, that’s a hell of a start. In our passing conversation, we waste our hours on passing pleasantries as broad as they are shallow, awful weather we’re having, how are the grandkids, who will win the next sports event, whatever. It takes so much of our energy to try and cast our nets wide enough to please most of the random passersby, the diametric opposite of that is what we get to do here with these tight packets of the letters and their spaces in-between. Here we are to cast a small specific pinch of pixie dust to cast directly into one person’s eyes at a time and maybe weave a spell of quiet understanding. In a flash, you know, you can do that too.
In a flash, you can’t create a fully explicated universe but you can build a perfect little diorama of one beautiful idea, one fascinating place, one tragically triumphant person, and sometimes that is for the better. Sometimes that’s what the reader needs and the writer too, indeed. Leave reality fabrication on the wholesale to Herbert and Tolkien, to Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, they did that so well but the little spaces still need filling. In a flash, you can transmit a few bars from the song of your soul and these days this place and time, you know, your flash is more needed than ever.
So, in a flash, put your little jewel down on the page and when the world is ready, they will read it in a flash as well. Maybe in a little café. Maybe in a chapbook in five minutes on the toilet. The where doesn’t matter, the how the when the what, these are all just details. But in a flash, they’re reminded they aren’t alone in all the feelings life makes one feel. Lonesome no more, in a flash.