Monday, April 13, 2009

The Words I Write are the Walls

The words I write are the Walls. They are also inscribed on the walls of my inner life, my inner self. When I dream, the words with which I have decorated my inner edges, held back the fearful void, peel off and float around my sleeping eye re-awakening the thoughts that birthed them to begin with. We dream our edges. As a species we are namers, and sorters, creatures who must create edges. We divide this from that and do so in finer and finer words, each one more and more delicate like the filigree lace on the edge of the Mandelbrod lake. We define infinity with words that are infinitely divisible, a rubber ruler with which we measure Reality.

There was a time I remember before words. It is hard to describe because description is infinitely recursive. The existence of meaning drew the world into an edged focus and finished my dreamtime. I had the understanding that the sounds I heard from my father’s mouth meant something.

This was a wonderful, dreadful, awful shock, and when I say awful I do mean full of awe. The soft, Vaseline world snapped into hard edges. I could name the edges. This, not this. Pronouns, verbs, adverbs. I had not a word for them but I had the beasts themselves. The words were bright and bitter and acid and sweet. They were agile as spiders or silverfish which disappeared into the cracks and whorls of my brain only to reappear in the most unexpected of places.

Every language has its thirty-wonderful flavors, the fullness and roundness of the world re-expressed every time a mouth is opened. A country cannot truly be understood or tasted unless one has savored the language on all edges of the tongue. Even then, the secondary speaker can only sample the diffuseness of the way the world is seen by this culture, like a curry powder left in the sun; a pale shadow of itself.

And still there is the underlying pattern of language that coils in every spiral in every cell in our bodies, a recognition of spoken communication that is limited to millions of words. Words rise out of our flesh and create what we see and how we see it. In this sense we are the magician, wielding words as our wands. This and this and this is the shape of the world. In a world where we are told there is no magic it is the big lie. It is our magic, our power, our fiery dragon on whose back we ride and in turn are ridden. As we shape the world we are shaped.

John recognized the Face of God. It is the Word.

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