Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Thinking with No Words

We all try to change the world with our words and ideas.

My imagination has been my saving grace and the heart of all my fears. It has carried me out my window through the sky to sit in the cartwheel nebula where I was a color of the universe. I’ve talked with Einstein and had sword fights with Peter Pan before breakfast. I’ve seen my future in my father’s hands on the steering wheel, while the sun was blinding me through the windshield. All I had to do was be near him as a little girl. My imagination did the rest.

I’ve imagined monsters and creepy things that lived in my closet and feared the dark basement in my own house long after I was in college and sleeping there. I was a brave one. I could face my fears. I’d just imagine what I would do if my imagined fate happened to come true. It didn’t make me fearless or fear-less. It just made me not take myself so seriously.

Every now and then someone will do something inconceivable, but that’s another thing. That has to do with principles. I can imagine people who don’t think like me. That takes in a good part of the world. My imagination made room for the idea of folks who have thoughts unlike my own a long time ago. I might not understand them, but I can imagine people who think unlike me.

I can imagine the best and the worst of people in detail−Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Buddha, Jesus, a mother without compassion, corporations without humanity, a friend filled with judgment who thinks he’s holy, a child so abused that she harms herself from self-loathing. These things confound and confuse me, but I can picture them, feel them, walk around them in my mind.

I can find words to describe how they look, how I feel about them, and why each of them inspires and frees me or infuriates and frightens me. I can form images of the people, their lives, their ideas, what moved them and what they touched, what they might have said.

People born deaf have no words. If they learn sign that’s the language of how they think.

I think in colors, then pictures, then in words. . . . Still . . .

A mind without words . . . like a universe without sound . . . or a vacuum−a vacuum, no air. I know the words. I can understand the ideas.

I’m not sure I can imagine thinking with no words.

Silence. Isolation. Peace. Perception. Reality. Self-Actualization. Relationships. Loneliness. Joy. Beauty. Love. Friendship. Belonging. Hunger. Darkness. Me.

Each is a word and an idea.
What would I be without them?
−me strauss Letting me strauss


Trée said...

You would still be you Liz. Words sit on top of you. You wear them like clothes. I often ask myself who am I without my stories "of me." I've never quite been able to answer that one, but I keep asking, because I know, beyond my words, is a something. I think that something is something very, very wonderful.

Trée said...

Oh, and Liz, I like you just the way you are. I know you through your words, but I see the space between them where you are hiding. I like what I see. Bring on the words, but know I like what is behind the words more. :-)

ME Strauss said...

I understand what youo are saying Tree and I agree with you. I just wonder how I would be that's all what would make me that me I would be in that world.

ME Strauss said...

You make me smile and blush with that talk of spaces between the words. I see you sitting in that chair.

Jozef Imrich, Esq. said...

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
— William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Morava River (misquoted)

As Jane Austen put it, to hazard all, dare all, achieve all ... Words are On My Side Sunny Liz ;-)

Jozef Imrich, Esq. said...

Freudean slip: Words are On Your Side Sunny Liz ;-)

ME Strauss said...

Ah Josef,
You know so much. How can possibly disagree with those words? I only wonder at the silence and what would replace it.

fineartist said...

I think I must think in feelings, because this piece made me tear up.

And again, I'm going to have to think on this, let it sink in, feel it...

ME Strauss said...

Hi Lori,
I must think in feelings some too, because many things that I write make me tear up. Sometimes I'm bawling when I'm writing them.