A life in words

Glen Ashdale Falls, Isle of ArranA foetus, an unborn child in the womb.  Your mother caressed you while you were still hidden, still waiting.  How she used to marvel at you as you grew.

You were born.  You were slapped, you screamed ’til your lungs were full, your gender and path in life were determined.  Boy or girl.

You went to school.  You learned and are still learning, a duckling following in your mother’s wake, jostling, struggling, grasping among the gaggle of your peers.

Your father.  He picked you up and threw you around: in play or in disgust.  Quietly proud.

You grew.  You became.  You are.

A student, a scholar in life, a worker, a teacher who learned from the taught and from the tutored, someone at rest, someone at play, someone in love with another or two or even three.

You read.  You are alive.

You heard, you spoke, you touched.  Still.  Subject.  Object.  Noun and verb and adjective.  You explored.  You moved and were moved.  You lay in bed and did not get up, following a feeling as the sun climbs through your window and then again as the rain pat-pats so lightly across the roof and your head feels so heavy it could be at one with your pillow.

On other mornings, you danced.  You heard not the voice but knew the blessing.  You moved, the blessing itself.  Alive.

You walked down streets both familiar and yet always new, different.  Always a different face to see whether it is raining or whether it is shining and living in the moment that you notice that person across the street, the bar, on the other side of the shop, the office, the factory.  That person may be a stranger no more.  They may smile at you, and like you, they feel the urge to reach out, to say some-thing to some-one else and be comforted that they are not alone.

On going out, on going to work, on meeting every-one, you converse. You exchange pleasantries or you exchange – the occasional – dislike.  You build, you destroy.  Always there is some way of describing, always there is a way of attaching significance to object and to subject and to doing.  In the moment, you say, you think.  The more you experience, the more real you become because it is you who describes.  Make up new words if you like, create an apparently ridiculous language which you can privately share in conversation with yourself but always there will be words.

Words.  They surrounded and cosseted you from the time before you were born and when you are gone, they will be used to bury you.

Words.  They are for everything you touch, you see, you hear, you feel.  Even thoughts unseen by others can be given words: this is such-and-such an input, this output is so-so.  This is expected.  Surprise!  This is anomaly.

Your body, your spirit, below the world you can see, hear, touch, smell, taste, you will discover yet more words.  Build yourself up, hide yourself among the many and words will reveal themselves as clouds that appear from over the horizon, changing shape as they pass over your head.

There are even words for the unwordable: Onomatopoeia.

There are words for the unsaid, that which is perhaps best unspoken: Gestures.

You are a name, a word.  You don’t just swim through a fluid environment of words, your whole life is worded.  When you wade from this water and stand upon an unknown shore, another planet – a stranger in a strange land – words as names will present themselves for all that you find there.  Even the furthest Exile will know words in places where not a single word has ever been made.

All life is words.

At the end of your days, you will not be forgotten: every word you ever thought and ever spoke is shared by many unseen.  At the end of your days, you will find that you will never be alone because there are many yet to be seen here who will take up those words you believed were yours alone.  At the end of your days, as you sense those words that you believed were yours alone leave you, depart your thoughts and leave you stumbling to make yourself understood, do not fear: those words will remain about the memory you will gift to others.

The words, they are never exhausted because they are life itself.

The words, they will always give life: just think.


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