Updrafts is first, a celebration of language – joy derived from words – that I want to share with others.
Consider how essential breaths of air, and the expulsion of stale air causes living tissue to vibrate and then flow outward over the twisting tongue, then through the contortions of the mouth and lips, precisely and effortlessly sculpted into words, quite literally expressed. Then, this turbulence of updraft and downdraft intertwined, is captured by the ear, and innervates the little bones therein signaling the cells of the brain to create at last, what in man, we call the voice. It is astounding!
I have been fascinated with language my entire life.
I don’t possess the imaginative, creative or intellectual prowess of those who have found success in writing. Whether I have special talent or ability to compose from mere fragments of sound something singularly meaningful or moving or enchanting or grand is candidly, beyond my innermost aspiration: it has never been a serious pursuit. I recognize great works of others and profess my awe openly and my lack of reach inwardly.
Language is taken for granted. We speak, communicate, read and write throughout our lives.
We may speak of the meanings of words. We might study their origin, or even the evolution of language. Or we might focus only on the functional aspects of language: the organizational utility that letters and words and grammar and spelling and punctuation and composition and ultimately, the pronunciation and articulation that contribute to the primary aim, which is of course, communication.
Or we may cherish only the results – the great stories and novels, or spiritual and philosophic admonitions and inquiries, or favorite song lyrics or poetry that wondrously transform language into some uniquely evocative and visceral experience.
How impoverished would we be without the articulation of ideas and concepts or the transformation of our outlook on life, if only for moment, that language makes possible?
But, my study and reading and writing of poems emerged from thrill I felt and still feel at the sound that is the very essence of each word, written or spoken. It is the power of language as a pattern of sound – the resonance of words however articulated, that has and will always give me special joy.
For some reason, in addition to respecting the power of language, I have always been compelled on impulse to hear the actual words and marvel at them – to play with them and study their tonal quality as mere fragments of sound heard actually or heard only echoing about between my ears.
Say the word “voice” and listen to how odd a sound it makes when heard separate and distinct from its meaning. Voice. Voice Voice. What a wonderful sounding word!
It is the sounds of the words themselves, more than any image or sentiment a particular poem of mine might be constructed around, that I hope to offer in this otherwise unremarkable collection of personal art. For each that might visit, I hope the few minutes spent are enjoyable and worthy and that your own words give you joy, too.