1: a slight indication or suggestion : hint, clue
2: a slight knowledge or vague notion
Origin: Middle English yngkiling
whisper, mention, probably from inclen to hint at; akin to Old English inca suspicion
First use: 1513
Inklings are all of the above. They also hold subtler definitions. They are mysterious critters. They are winged wisps that alight on your ear. They are poetic nuisances. They are tiny tricksters who rattle their instruments then disappear into thin air. They want your attention but never your grasp. They are fleeting and resonant. They want to help but will never offer a hand, only point their finger. They chatter in silence. They chime like bells. They will wag their tail and lick you like a dumb dog and offer nothing more. They will escape and they will find you again. They are snowflakes which vanish into vapor. They are vapor forming into raindrops.
Inklings are none of the above. I have no idea what inklings are or where they are from, like faeries they exist in our minds and in the edge of our eyes and always evade detection. They are far too subtle to wrap a net around. (This exercise is meaningless.)
That is why along with this collection of inklings displayed upon these pages (in all their ugliness like butterflies scotch-taped to paper) I am including their tangential companions in the form of longer writings. These paragraphs are akin to a re-telling of the setting in which these inklings were “caught”. They must not be mistaken for the inklings themselves, or even as a description of the inklings. The tangential companions exist in their own right, sharing only the relation of being a re-telling of the scene where the inkling was “found”. They give context (but don’t ever mistake that context for clarification).
The inkling confounds, and the inkling abounds. The inkling may be caught and pinned, but only as a dead version of its original entity. It sits for you to probe and examine only when it has been extinguished. Its natural liveliness and viability, then, may only be truly examined when encountered in the wild. Let them fly, and see what they may reveal. Let them be as they are alive: curious flirts. Let them fly, as I will. Please enjoy these psycho-zoological captures and forays each as portraits of unique encounters in the wild.
[this is a Forward of a kind: on the origins of the words to come. for more clear phrasing: see Blog Meta.]