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How Language Fails Us

I’ve been thinking, lately, how language fails us. Particularly we who are preoccupied with the thrust of the marvelous, we who long to remake ourselves and our worlds…as well to make “our worlds within words “ as my friend Stanislas once said.

The language we have now…too often it underscores our ineptitude: we are rife with the inability to convey the palimpsest of perceptions, emotions, intuitions, whose absence have made us—ever more corrosively—the superficial, walking- wounded, gliding glibly on the surface of things, getting and giving information, sound bites, numb to the promptings of our irreconcilable lives—the contradictions, the paradoxes, subtleties, nuances that make up the matrix of our relationships to each other, to the Other, and to ourselves. The promise of our humanity, actually.

Perhaps there is need for a spherical means of communication that I would loosely address, for the moment, as the archetypal Feminine, mostly because I was struck with it through the voice of Gnostic ancient wisdom, the voice of Sophia speaking in “Thunder Perfect Mind”:

For I am the first and the last.

I am the honored one and the scorned one.

I am the whore and the holy one.

I am the wife and the virgin.

I am <the mother> and the daughter.

I am the members of my mother.

I am the barren one

and many are her sons.

I am she whose wedding is great,

and I have not taken a husband.

I am the midwife and she who does not bear.

I am the solace of my labor pains.

I am the bride and the bridegroom…

Ultimately to speak poetry to each other, but not in the sense that most understand that word “poetry” i.e. speaking—or more readily—writing poems.

Rather a common language that resonates, scintillates, incorporating the imagistic. A language that encourages long silences.

Anyway, right now trying to say ANYHTHING I am admitting that the words break apart as they leave my mouth, for certainly I have not yet the language that I am intuiting is necessary for us all to make, manage, relay, communicate the making of our individuated selves, i.e. the gods within (and therefore without) that Jung, the great psychologist, spiritual philosopher, prescribes. (Prescribes: I see the word “scribe” and read the prefix “pre” as “before”. “Before writing”…Aha!) Jung explores the way back to ancient wisdom, of course, when he acknowledges synchronicity, and of course the collective unconscious. But again what is the primary language to convey it:

Mandalas? Sacred geometry? Movement?

Pictographs? Hand clapping? Music?

The following poem speaks to my particular frustration.


This prehistoric thing,

this “love”

is not shaped in a heart of a syllable.

Words parade, blind dummkopfs,

while this black lump smolders,

waiting for the blue heat to facet the brilliance

of what it must become.

When does the poet finally walk forward—

hands released like birds—

embracing all who have so patiently waited

these many thousands of years?

The only worthwhile translations

are in what terrifies most:

then faith takes hold.

Kiss the circle of my grief, why don’t you.

Suck in the sweetness that radiates in spite of everything.

Just don’t ask me to explain,

for I trust nothing named.

I wait to receive the Other,

the one who is my heir and benefactor.

I wait for her to return. This time without

the mockery of nouns, the past tense of verbs.

A fire in the belly stays coiled.

True desire




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