From the Mountain
While two hands full
Of sentences, indeterminate in duration,
One for each finger
(But nothing for my toes)
Come tumbling down
Down softly to float on undivided
To fill our pillows
And to make tickings in our ears.
They need neither stone nor sand.”
H.M. put his plate and cup into the sink, ran some water, decided to wait until supper to wash them, and returned to look out the window.
How far down, he wondered…down..down is soft, but the ground would be hard….’hard of hearing?’ But would he hear the collapse of his body and bone against the ground?
Ground, like coffee in the bottom of a pot, ground, like grounded? Grounded, not allowed to go out to the party? or grounded, like well grounded?
It’s one thing, he shook his head, to say that everything is connected…but that’s not the same as hearing the connections, like wind chimes, ringing in the wind.
He wiped the tears from his eyes, and took himself, hand in hand to the bedroom to finish getting dressed.
For most of us, the fragility that is the Hunched Man, is something we read about. For the Hunched Man, the all too free associations of word and visions kaleidoscopic in their intensity and rapidity gave an almost literal experience to the common phrase of “blowing your mind.”
And what could he to do with that experience? Like a cramp in the leg, he would wait for it to subside.
Most of us, most of the time, have an automatic defense against the intrusion of those connections. We hear them in puns, and see them in cartoons. Humor, of course is built on the sudden shift in perspective, almost like a verbalized card trick, that unmasks an comfortable truth, and immediately re-masks it with the face of a clown.
Perhaps it is that kind of experiential realization that brings certain seers and mystics into silence. Perhaps they are simply captured by the fascination of the kaleidoscope.
Wittgenstein said something to that effect. As I remember it, he said that for him, philosophy is the fight to free us from the fascination that forms of expression exert upon us. But didn’t he use words in that battle?
My understanding of his idea, is that without that philosophic liberation, we are all captured by our forms of expression: art, music, drama, and words, words written and spoken, words of love and despair.
Of course, this question arises. Once we recognize the dilemma what do we do? We can’t all go silent. Or, does it mean, that no matter how much we say, the inner reality of who we are is always silent?