Language

"THE CHERRY ORCHARD", 1993, 40" x 60", m/m

"THE CHERRY ORCHARD", 1993, 40" x 60", m/m

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“Language is a virus from outer space.”

– William Burroughs

In a recent note sent to me, this quote appeared.

I was taken by it and decided NOT to go look it up to discover the meaning Mr. Burroughs had in mind, but to write from my gut and what the words stirred in ME.

I love words.

Make a martini.. Or a drink in a pineapple with umbrellas and blue plastic nude women stirrers with a strawberry thrown in…

There’s room for it all..

But the language we know and depend on as modern and sophisticated humans is beginning to interest me less and less.

I play with it because it is there and has enough mystery to keep my attention.

It is a good exercise for me, as an artist, to make myself verbalize the swimming things and varying currents in my brain.

To know what I know.

But the call is getting louder to listen with new ears.

If I shut my mouth, turn off my phone and ease myself away from the incessant addiction to “FILL ‘ER UP!” with regards to our culture’s hunger to destroy empty space altogether, I meet THE VOID.

Which happens to be filled with a lot of great stuff.

The following are things which interest me in the way of communication:

Do a person’s eyes have a glazed quality to them? Foggy and hidden? Or bright and present? Do mine?

Does their voice come from their belly or their head? How about mine?

Is my nervous system overflowing with my own machinations; too taxed for another to enter or am I open to be moved and changed by another?

There is a low and fierce, almost imperceptible growl when I touch my dog’s abdomen. I would have missed that if the music were on.

The wind changed from warm and smooth to the beginning of ‘something.’ The color and smell were different. It had it’s hand up.

The aliveness I feel in connection with people is so different than the aliveness I feel when alone. Not better.. just different.

My leg feels stronger when my mind is soft and free to give it the attention it needs.

I entertain myself by singing made-up songs and laugh hard at how wonderful it feels to be unsophisticated and free. I laugh and laugh…

I check out a torpid looking bird and don’t feel sorry I did not get it together to fill the feeder. I put down the worry.

The ‘language’ I speak of here is that of watching where the call comes from; the call to attention and the information we get from following the thread.

Doing this seems lazy when I speak about it because it has little to do with the direct application of anything ‘other’.

But this way of being changes me in directions I like.

It opens up new avenues when I am not FILLING, FILLING, FILLING..

I JUST NOTICE WHAT I NOTICE AND IT FEELS REAL GOOD.

This forced ‘slow down’ I’m in is full of surprises on either end of the ‘OK-thermometer.’

I do best if I leave that tool in the drawer and hunker down to hum a tune.

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