Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I am intrigued by and compelled to write about, try to illustrate or describe, something untouchable and undisclosed, something between or beneath that which is evident. This space or place or truth is just out of reach, but is still possible to grasp, not by our own power or effort, but as a whimsical gift. We brush against it at times and feel it nudge us, whisper to us in a breeze or the drama of colors and movement in a moment never to be repeated. Though it is very close to us, rarely do we see it or know it is there.
A challenge is that language is the way in which we experience life and consciousness. Without language, or the manner in which we explain and express our experience, we are unmoored and unable to know what we are experiencing, even who we are.
Language also, however, limits what we experience by its structure and word-boxes. Language is like a road that is at times well defined and solid, with curbs and guardrail and lines, wide with many lanes; at times it narrows and meanders through neighborhoods of homes that are filled with laughter and light and other neighborhoods with empty houses and broken windows, dark with danger and despair; then at times it is like a gravel or dirt road winding through a forest or off into the countryside or nearly disappearing in a dry and open landscape, perhaps becoming only a single trail threading its way into a wilderness until it fades away altogether and leaves the sojourner standing among a grove of tall trees, light shining through the branches, gentle breeze stirring the leaves, and a whisper of a voice that is strangely familiar as it echoes in the heart; or it leads us over sandy dunes where we hear breaking waves until we step upon the shore and look out over an ocean that stretches beyond the horizon. There we can go no further unless we strap together a few timbered words with poetic twine and let the currents carry us where we cannot know, into mists of imagination past islands of brief substance and then further, further, further to where no words, no boat, no vessel will carry us and we sink into the depths of the wordless from which words arise and into which words disappear and we breathe beneath the water where words cannot be spoken for they mean nothing and yet we now are known as we sought to know.

© 2016 Stephen Carl

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