Monday, June 23, 2008

Untitled

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Sometimes silence speaks louder than words -- a look that cuts through to a vein, a verb whose barbs dig deep, seething beneath the surface like a stingray under the sands, waiting, coiled to strike, and again and again after the tears subside.

Sometimes silence has nothing to teach us, sitting numb, cross-legged on a stone floor -- nothing in chanting or meditation with sight shut off. No... nothing waits in the space between some words; that white space where the letters float like driftwood on an ocean or the birds in the trees I beg to bring me honey.

Sometimes silence is a soul on fire, wishing there was a reset button on life; the days you love someone who doesn't love you back, listening to the same sad song on repeat, tearing the pages of poetry from your favorite book and cursing the sky; the days there's no quiet to be found in talking. Sometimes silence screams. Sometimes silence is the hiss of a snake.

And sometimes it's that sound that makes us learn. Without giving voice to those questions nature could never correct us, the deafening roar of experience, of seeking out answers. If I only sat in silence there could be no consensus and no one could disagree and in that way I could never move forward, I could never change. This is why I craft words. Not because I think I'm right or because I see some great truth. I speak and I write because I realize I don't know. I make this noise because I want to find out, and if I said nothing then I would remain as I am, only a wisp in the wind.

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Some quotes from Kahil Gibran:

"They say that silence resides in contentment; but I say to you that denial, rebellion, and contempt dwell in silence."

"Does the song of the sea end at the shore or in the hearts of those who listen to it?"

"Deliver me from him who does not tell the truth unless he stings; and from the man of good conduct and bad intentions; and from him who acquires self-esteem by finding fault in others."

"The poet is he who makes you feel, after reading his poem, that his best verses have not yet been composed."

"Art is a step in the known towards the unknown."

"If I knew the cause of my ignorance, I would be a sage."

"I never speak without error, for my thoughts come from the world of abstraction and my statements from the world of reference."

==================================================

A quote from the Crow:

"Silence makes us strangers to each other..."

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This post is a response to my friend and fellow seeker and writer BBC. Many times he has questioned my rational for writing, has asked why bother littering the internet with ramblings and poetry (as he so poetically puts it, "The monkey crap in the ruts of time and space"). And though he may not realize how seriously I've taken his line of questioning it's something I've struggled with myself. Another of Gibran's sayings that I take without a grain of salt is:

"Poetry is a flash of lightening; it becomes mere composition when it is an arrangement of words."

If you follow this line logically one would wonder, why bother writing at all, why bother striving towards the poetic. BBC, I think, is making precisely this point and I have trouble coming to grips with the repercussions of this -- maybe why I've spent so much time formulating this response to him.

I made the conscious choice some time ago to give up on argumentation. I don't believe that anyone will be convinced by a reasoned, premise based argument. I believe that any truth that must be explained is only a half truth. So I've come to believe that no one's belief can be changed except by their choice, by their own self-reflection. And so I close with a question... a question that I'm sure BBC has a poignant answer for:

Why do you write my friend?
======================================================

42 comments:

Echo said...

I write out of fear
time
time will eat me, suck me away, something of me needs to stick to this world, somehow my pieces can float through the eathernet for always if just
if just
I can spread the word
and the word is
me
God
nature
humanity
it
is
everything

Hopper said...

Echo... I agree about writing out of fear so much you don't know... I fear being forgotten... I fear... I fear...

Thanks so much for your candid response...

Echo said...

Thanks for visiting so quickly and the lovely response.
I found you just by following like minds here and there.
I love what you write.

Hopper said...

I love what you write too... kindred spirits have that tendency of finding one another...

And no one can be an island all their own... the waves that lap on those shores bring us together...

I hope you will be a part of our/my/your community...

Well met my friend...

JON

human being said...

something funny Jon...
i read this fabulous post a few hours ago in my Reader, but i couldn't open it because of the filtering from here(Iran)... i was so surprised... what on earth is this filtered for?
and then... ha ha ha ...just because of the word BBC in the title...
BBC(British Broadcasting Corporation)is one of the filtered words here!
now i'm here... using an anti-filter... nothing can stop us from writing ... from thinking,eh?

Hopper said...

Crow... it just boggles my mind that the British Broadcasting Company is filtered... first of all because I don't have any experience with overt censorship and secondly because I think that the BBC isn't exactly a "subversive" news organization... I mean... they're not exactly the most liberal news media out there...

Another question... how are you able to use anti-filter software... how does that work... how does the Iranian government filter the content... and how can a blogsite be that important... I just don't get it... what are we saying that's so dangerous... what does it matter what anyone says... can't we just choose to ignore it... can't we just NOT BELIEVE whatever we find objectionable???

I've heard it said that anything that is that subversive is beyond the capacity of anyone who could be subverted by it...

It's just so foreign to me... would love to hear some of your thoughts...

Sorry about the title (by the way)... will think about that in the future...

JON

human being said...

and about this brilliant piece of writing...
i'm in awe with the powerful analysis here... we feel much emotion here but the discussion is very analytical and logical ... not based only on feelings...
loved the way you saw through different aspects of silence... while reading, i just loved to repeat your beautiful sentences to myself...
and the quotes by Gibran... marvelous and rightly chosen...
i'm so glad our chanting and dance round the fire on the shore continues...
and think we should all thank Bobbb
for starting this poetic and analytical discussion ... do you remember our debate a few posts before here in you blog?
and the job you've done here, Jon, is not just an answer to our friend BBC... it's a kind of 'manifesto' of the poets who can never be silenced... because they don't talk for themselves... they are the voice of the collective soul of humans... and the only thing that remains in this cosmos is 'sound'...

Foroogh Farrokh-zaad the Persian poet wrote in one of her poems:

sound, sound, sound
it is just the sound remaining in this world
why should i stop? why?

human being said...

guess how many times i clicked on 'send' button to send the above comment!!!!
love to you Jon... and thanks for being there and writing...

Hopper said...

Crow... No... thank you... and you're right that we own Bobb a huge kudos for these thoughts and this line of questioning... what he said about heart before... so inspiring... and how he's always taken up the banner in my stead... I'm so appreciative of that... but I've gotta say that it's you too... it's Deb and Fern and Lynn and Suki and Miss Doodle and Honour and all our friends here that shape my thoughts and my words... and as one who finds solace in Gibran and his words that are slicing through to the distant future when perhaps we'll listen to one another...

"The means of reviving a language lie in the heart of the poet and upon his lips and between his fingers. The poet is the mediator between the creative power and the people. He is the wire that transmits the news of the world of spirit to the world of research. The poet is the father and mother of the language, which goes wherever he goes. When he dies, it remains prostrate over his grave, weeping and forlorn, until another poet comes to uplift it."

human being said...

no Jon BBC(i mean the corporation) is not subversive at all... just the reverse...
;)
these are just some foolish games politicians play...
i don't know much about how the anti-filter software works... we just buy it(and you know in Iran all softwares are not original ... they are cracked... no copyright here... another obstacle for the real intellectuals and creators to communicate humanly... to trust each other) and install it on our computers and ... bingo!

if we are AWARE, all the problems can help us in a way to think more... to solve them...
thus becoming more clever...
that's why crows are very intelligent!
;)

human being said...

we
in a circle
hand in hand
sing
a song
no one knows who started
no one knows who will end
and no one cares at all
we just sing
in a circle
an ever-enlarging circle
which moves
round and round
a fire...

Hopper said...

I've never believed any different about you my friend... and now that you've explained it that makes some form of sense to me... just as the controls my own society places on me make sense... <:-) (dunce hats on politicians and censorship)...

ANOTHER QUOTE FROM GIBRAN:

"No one has prevented me from doing something who is not himself interested in it."

You've gotta love how he thought... so sharp in his rational... I don't agree with it, but I can see why so many feared him... as they fear you and those like you...

I am ever impressed by your adaptability (always knew Crows were smarter than those who suppose to be their rulers) and your savvy with technology... and I'm sitting here so happy to be your student even though some may conspire to keep our words apart...

With much admiration...

JON

Hopper said...

I sing a song around a roaring fire... a song of a feast of rust... a song of longing... a song of trust... CAW... CAW... CAW...

Lynn said...

I wish I had time to say more, but for now I just want to say lets all keep on writing the most beautiful "monkey crap" we can write...no matter what anyone thinks or says, and we will fill the world with "monkey crap" and turn it into another word for LOVE.

Hugs to all, from Lynn, who is now taking on the words Monkey Crap and every time I hear them I hear LOVE!!!!!!! Instead! Because I think that is what BBC needs and wants....We LOVE YOU BBC... We are "camping" we are writing lovely monkey crap and it is filled with love!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahava!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fern said...

There was a discussion recently in my living room about car chases and violent movies and roller coasters...the things that thrill people and make a them feel 'alive.'

I felt a bit freakish and then a bit sad when I realized I thought there was nothing that made my heart beat like that...not in a way I enjoyed anyway.

I thought hard. I knew I had some things for my "thrill list" seeing wild animals, falling in love, flying a kite, and words.

Yes, words do it for me. The thrill of the spill. Mine or yours.

Cestandrea said...

Wow, a great post and great comments. perhaps you write because then we can see what you are; if it's like my friend Peter, the photographer said (he quoted an art teacher) what if we try to make a selfportrait when taking a picture, writing a poem, painting or drawing something. This makes sense to me.
I can see you in your words.

Honour said...

I write
because I have no other choice.
Because when I don't write,
I feel lost
I am restless
my feet itch
and I wonder what my purpose
in life is

what I was created for
what I am aiming for

I write
and then
I know
there is such a thing
as
grace

And it makes
everything else
that's strange
and nonsensical
and tragic in our
world a little
more acceptable

because
when I write
I have hope
there are
miracles

and it helps
me try
to continue and
create
the miraculous
in our world

BBC said...

You get an eight inch hole in the top of a bottle by using an eight inch drill bit. Maybe I spelled it wrong, its 1/8", not eight inches.

I write a lot, I speak up a lot after 50 years of silence. But I don't do it with prose and poetry.

I do it in more of a Carlin style, by bitching. :-)

BBC said...

And I do it for the same reason some of your other readers gave, because I'm driven to, because it won't let me be.

BBC said...

If you must write a poem write one with some bitching and attitude in it, maybe I will like it. :-) :-)

BBC said...

By the way,,,,,,some crows are idiots...... Just saying.

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Reasons

I write
To speak
Recall
Record

I am witness
I write
To voice
My response

I compose
Connections

I listen
Understand
And write

One needs reasons?

I am called
Perhaps
More than invited

And so

I take the time
To comprehend
As best I can
And then
When I put my thoughts into words

I learn
As I teach

Every time

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

I have known a great many crows and have never known one of them to be an idiot...

human being said...

wow
couldn't read these beautiful comments and leave silently...
they are marvelous thoughts... each one of them... giving a lot to ponder upon and a lot to happy about...

Jon thanks for your caring heart... you changed the title just because of that filtering problem.... thanks thanks

and i thought maybe this is interesting to be read:

"Nor is there any embarrassment in the fact that we're ridiculous, isn't it true? For it's actually so, we are ridiculous, light-minded, with bad habits, we're bored, we don't know how to look, how to understand, we're all like that, all, you, and I, and they! Now, you're not offended when I tell you to your face that you're ridiculous? And if so, aren't you material? You know, in my opinion it's sometimes even good to be ridiculous, if not better: we can the sooner forgive each other, the sooner humble ourselves; we can't understand everything at once, we cant start right out with perfection! To acheive perfection, one must first begin by not understanding many things! And if we understand too quickly, we may not understand well. This I tell you, you, who have already been able to understand... and not understand... so much. I'm not afraid for you now."

The Idiot(FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY)

BBC said...

You appear to be pretty young. I sure hope that the youth can fix this planet because my generations really screwed it up.

Unfortunately, my generations are still teaching the youth stupid things, stupid mentors teach stupid things.

And America is really stupid, it created some wonderful things but it also teaches greed in wanting it all when this planet can’t support all that 7 billion people would want. Yup, America showed the world how to destroy it. I’m thankful for a roof over my head and decent food but so many want so much more than that.

Well, it’s the youth and science that will have to fix it, or not. And I do hope that the youth get wise enough to get the populations down and controlled, the omnipresent spirit doesn’t need that many copies of itself, especially considering how ignorant so many of them are. Thanks to their mentors of course, it’s not their fault they are taught stupid things. We all grow up trusting our mentors, especially before our teens. As we get older we start seeing what a bunch of fools many of them are.

I’m sure getting to be a cranky old man, spiritual journeys are a pain in the butt.

sukipoet said...

Interesting dialogue. When I first began reading your post, I was thinking speech (from the throat out of the mouth) vs silence, rather than the written word vs silence. Maybe because I am living with my Mother who has never understood having a conversation. Now she is "deaf" and although she speaks to me sometimes, I can rarely speak back to her as after I say five words, she says "I cant hear you." It sounds like a physical issue, however for most of my life she didnt want me to talk beyond about five words. I rarely agreed with her, maybe that's why. That disruption to her illusions when I talked. It is actually at times quite painful to me not to have anyone to talk to (out loud, using my throat.)

Perhaps this upbringing of silence is why I turned to writing. I always written lots of journals, to get it all out. Now, I have blogland friends to chatter to. But that is written word, not speech. I think, for me anyway, there is an innate need to speak out loud and have someone listen. In fact I spent maybe 15 years in therapy, paid someone to listen to me talk. also, I can say with modesty I hope, That I am a good listener to others.

In any event this is a sideline. It seems to me that if BBC was true to his grouchiness, he wouldn't be blogging himself.

Human Being, that is so interesting about the internet filter in Iran. Thanks for telling us about it.

human being said...

BBC, dear friend...
what you wrote here WAS a spiritual journey... both for you and us...
self-critical people are usually trustworthy...

you are right... the young will find a way out... i really believe in this... just if the parents, teachers, mentors... whatever... know the fact you mentioned here... that they themselves have made some mistakes... thus not regarding themselves as all-knowing beings...
as result, the young people can work more confidently toward a better future... because they don't need to fight their elders... they can all work together to compensate for the loss and create a new world... so now that you yourself know the basic problem in our world... trust this young man here to find a way out... through his writings...
and BBC, what is science after all?

all the journeys, as one of these great mentors has said, begin with a first little step...
like the step Jon has taken here to write this 'wonderous' post triggering this collective work by all of us....

the more we share, the more we love each other, the more we feel responsilbe towards each other...

thanks for your thought-provking words...

human being said...

Suki,
when i posted the above comment, i noticed you just had this mindful comment...
i really enjoyed reading it...
and would like to say, you are a great listener and understanding friend...

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

I believe
And I have great hopes
For where are we
Without hope?

However
We cannot simply pass our problems
To a new generation

We must stand
Shoulder to shoulder
Past present future
For in reality
There is only one generation…

We must show
That we are strong
And willing
To change

The young
Will seek change
Will look for wisdom
In order to do the right thing

Silence will not serve them

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Do not think I do not know the peril...

http://bandingo.blogspot.com/2006/03/ok-time-has-come-to-speak-all-roads.html

human being said...

oh yes Bobbb
my emphasis was on the same thing:
"because they don't need to fight their elders... they can all work together to compensate for the loss and create a new world..."

one generation... indeed... your words are always wise and beautiful...
i put this link in my blog so that more people can read it...
and how i love this flow of ideas here... love to you all...

BBC said...

Sukipoet.... I blog because I care. If I didn't there would be no reason for me to blog.

Hopper said...

ummmm... Hi...

So there seem to be some common threads here as to why people feel this need to make noise and not remain silent... why they want to communicate... we may not all choose the same form (poetic vs. narrative vs. visual arts vs. quilting vs. song vs. architecture {do we have any architects in the house???})... the main reason being that there is an internal compulsion... something that draws us to speak all in our own way... the header of this site is "Everything speaks in its own way..." and this has come to seem to me to be self evident... there's this need to share and question and explore... and it seems to me to be a common quality of humanness... some necessity we all have to tell our stories...

Just for fun I'd like to show how each of you has stated this:

=================
=================
Crow:
"The more we share, the more we love each other, the more we feel responsible towards each other."

Suki:
"I think, for me anyway, there is an innate need to speak out loud and have someone listen."

BBC:
"I blog because I care. If I didn't there would be no reason for me to blog... I write because I'm driven to, because it won't let me be."

Honour:
"I write because I have no other choice. Because when I don't write,
I feel lost..."

Fern:
"I thought hard. I knew I had some things for my "thrill list" seeing wild animals, falling in love, flying a kite, and words.
Yes, words do it for me. The thrill of the spill. Mine or yours."

Bobb:
"I take the time
To comprehend
As best I can
And then
When I put my thoughts into words

I learn
As I teach

Every time"

Andrea:
"...what if we try to make a self portrait when taking a picture, writing a poem, painting or drawing something. This makes sense to me.
I can see you in your words."

Lynn: (whose use of new favorite euphemism is translatable!!!)
"...lets all keep on writing the most beautiful "monkey crap" we can write...no matter what anyone thinks or says, and we will fill the world with "monkey crap" and turn it into another word for LOVE."

Echo: (have to quote her entire thought)
"I write out of fear
time
time will eat me, suck me away, something of me needs to stick to this world, somehow my pieces can float through the eathernet for always if just
if just
I can spread the word
and the word is
me
God
nature
humanity
it
is
everything"
======================
======================

What I read here is commonality... all of us saying something of the same thing... and I think it's a testament to the spirit of creativity and communication...

I would like to thank you all so much for your time and thoughtfulness... for me this interaction is one of the best parts of my life as a writer and I learn and am challenged by you all... I can only hope that you find this as inspirational as I do...

Hopper said...

BBC...

I want to just take a moment and acknowledge the spark you've put into this conversation... I appreciate your candor and point of view...

I am young (in many ways) but at the same time I often feel old... I don't know that I'm sure that the examples set for the youth of today by their teachers is all bad... in fact I think that previous generations are most often much more hard working than those that follow... I think that some of the critical and independent thinking that is so vital to our world are being lost and that many of today's youth are brain-washed by TV... are switched off from the natural world and see no value in nature... are capable of greater destruction than any generation that has come before... destruction of the mind...

And yes... spiritual journeys are often difficult... at least from the little experience I've had with trying to come to terms with my own spirituality... but I think that there is something to be gained from this kind of wandering... and I think it's a journey that a lot of people are fearful of taking because they lack the ability to be honest with themselves...

I commend you for taking your journey and I hope that you'll continue to share it with us...

You may not know... but your ideas about DOING have been in my thoughts for a while and your questioning line to me about the value of art and purpose, in a very broad sense of the word, have been a driving force behind sharpening some of my ideas lately...

Thank you...

Hopper said...

Suki...

Indeed you are a GREAT listener...

I don't think that speech is limited to only vocalizing words so that others may hear them... sometimes silence speaks... I imagine that with your Mom there is a whole spectrum of communication that happens without any words at all... sometimes we speak with a smile :-) ... sometimes we speak with a gesture... sometimes we speak with only a breath... a touch of a hand...

Even in this realm where we look at words on a screen we speak with more than just the words... as you speak to me with your listening and reading and care... you speak more than your words simply ever could...

You're a gem!

Hopper said...

Bobb...

Thanks for the link to your other site... I've been looking through there... you seem to have a similar interest in the natural and the earth as me... I think that some of the thoughts from the particular post you shared with us have filtered into my more recent post (hope you don't mind)...

A little story for you about a crow I knew fairly well... a crow named Omar who proved to me that crows are often more intelligent and crafty than some people I know...

He had fallen out of his nest (or was kicked out because he was a runt)... had a broken leg and was left for dead... he was taken in by a family I am very fond of and they nursed him back to health...

He recognized his own name after a time... when you'd call to him he would squak back... he liked toast (but only if there was peanut butter on it) and often enjoyed some Pepsi or a bit of beer... he'd go after anything shiny and often would take my smokes and hide them under the newspaper in his cage... I don't think he liked to smoke... he just knew that they were important to me and wanted them...

This family also had a cat named Skinny... Omar and Skinny developed a great friendship and would eat from the same bowl side by side... on nice days Omar would go out on the patio and enjoy the weather... there was a bell near his perch and if he'd see another cat from the neighborhood come into the yard he'd ring the bell and Skinny would come running and scare off the other cat... he had her trained...

But here's the kicker... he only liked people that were present in the home during the first little while that he was taken in... the family had twin boys (one of whom had been absent for this formulative time)... even though most humans couldn't tell the twins apart Omar only liked the one that had been around and would attack and peck the other... tell me this creature wasn't intelligent... smarter than some people I know...

Thanks Bobb for being around and for your wonderful and poetic comments... always a pleasure my friend...

Hopper said...

Roxy... thanks for the pics of your recent adventure... I owe you a letter soon and will have some photos for you too... thanks again for everything!!!

Fern... I don't know if it's me that owes you a note or what... either way I don't think it's a sticking point... I'm sure you know that I check your site every time I'm on-line and that even if I don't leave any words that I'm one of your biggest fans... see ya soon...

Andrea... I have a question for you... what is Miss Doodle's secretaries name??? does she have a name other than that??? also I've been wondering if it is a good idea to take a photograph of a painting of a sculpture??? would that be a good meta???

Lynn... I'm so jealous that you're out enjoying the wild... you've been on tour for a while now eh??? Thanks for dropping in to see us and for putting up pictures of your trip so we can keep track of you!!! See you again soon...

Hopper said...

And my friend the Crow... what else can I say... your dedication to word and to writing is an example for me... your patience is more than that... I hope to live up to the standards you set...

The more recent post tries to speak to some of the issues you've raised in your comments...

I'll drop you a line again soon... but in the mean time I'll just perch in a tree near to yours.

JON

Anonymous said...

about silent:
"it is better to shut up and go for a asshole that open it and to leave no doubts on this subject" pierre desproges (french humorist)

but jon , please, don t stop to open it and write !!
a friend frenchtony

Lynn said...

Thanks Jon for all your comments to everyones comments including my own.

This trip is good, fun, a learning curve for DH and myself.
WE'd planned to camp, have a tent in the car under the guitar and suitcase, and over night bag and bags of food stuff, and quilt material and books bought etc etc. But first rain, then snow, then fatigue, hindered this; and I think we finally came to realize we, OH this is hard to say, to admit, aren't as young as we used to be or think of ourselves still to be so we stay in motels instead. But we still say we'll do it again, another time, another trip...just not this time....camp.

And I think of you and all of you as I go day by day "in the wild" as you said. Can't not as YOU all are such a part of me now...

I take photos with you and others in mind to share later...staying connected...I guess I have taken blogfriends on this trip with us...
DH even mentions you now.
Funny this. It was he who pointed out the grasshopper on our car today and said to take a photo of it for "your friend"...so I did.
But we are all connected...through our words here and every where.

Sandra said...

Why do you write my friend?

When I was a teenager I wrote for the attention. Putting words together in ways that I thought sounded good just for the response.

When I was approaching my twenties I wrote to express the pain I was feeling that I didn't know how to verbalise face to face. I wrote in ways to address the issues without really addressing them, trying to explain to myself all the reasons I was feeling the way I was feeling, without really understanding myself or other people.

When I got in my 20's (which is where I am today)I began to abandon poetry because I was not in pain, and abandoned fiction, because I didn't have the energy to fantasize. I began to analyse myself and my decisions and my writing became kind of a spillage of my inner monologue onto paper and my blog. What a mess self discovery can be.

But now I write for reasons that encompass all of the above. First and foremost I write for me and I enjoy it. So why should it be important to anyone else? I don't feel the need to justify it, and no one else should either.

Hopper said...

Tony... where you been my man... nice to hear from you and the French connection... and thanks for the comment... I'm not going to repeat it... but I know you're right!!!

Lynn... thanks... we've caught up by now I'm sure so I'll leave this thread for now...

Sandra... I don't feel the need to justify anything I write... and in many ways it is just for me... but at the same time some of the more "serious" (snicker) writing that I do... I feel it has a purpose and has the ability to make people think and to grow and to learn... I've been told so... and therein lies the value... that the words can at times become more than just composition of rhetoric... that we may actually come to know each other and to share... maybe you'll take up your craft again some day... bye for now...