the gift of the word
[ best results if read aloud, with an occasional rush of words,
or have someone else read, and listen only ]
Speech, / Words, letters, sounds, / heard by both the inner ear and the outer.
Letters, sounds, words, / linked invisibly to ideas and thoughts.
Ideas, thoughts, letters, sounds, words, / a woven tapestry of meaning,
carried by Speech, / sometimes with grace, / but most often just carelessly.
Meaning, / a weaving of thoughts, sounds, words, letters and ideas,
spoken into the air and left there, / abandoned.
Words, spoken and heard. / Meaning intended. / But what is heard?
That which is heard is also intended. / Two intentions, two purposes, two meanings.
How difficult then communication, / suffering as it does the contrary pulls of multiple intentions, purposes and meanings.
I speak, you listen. / I mean, you grasp. / Somewhere in this delicate dance of words, sounds, letters, thoughts, ideas and purposes; / understanding is sought after.
Perhaps. / Sometimes.
Voice. / Speech reveals the unspoken. / Anger, fear, pride, arrogance, true humility.
The ear of the heart hears what is hidden in voice.
Posture, gesture. / Speech is more than sound. / The eye hears things the ear cannot, just as the ear sees things the eye cannot.
One mind. / Two minds. / Speech a bridge of woven light between two minds, and sometimes, although rarely, / between two hearts.
Speech, rich and full of flavor, / a light bridge, / joining two separate beings.
Speech denatured, / No sound, no gesture, no posture, no voice.
Speech reduced to lines of dark on light. / Written. / A treasure map in code spilled across a page
Words, letters, ideas, thoughts, sounds, / reduced to marks upon a parchment. / Speech dying.
Yet, / even in death, murdered by pen or pencil mark, / some essence of Speech still.
Meaning embalmed. Understanding buried. / Until read.
Reading. / Words, sounds, letters, thoughts, ideas, meaning, purposes, intentions,
Speech resurrected in the silence of another mind.
Speech. / Light bridge dying into print, / reborn when read in the inner quiet of another soul.
Speech, / The Spoken Word. / Writing, / The Word entombed. / Writing read, / The Word resurrected.
That this is so, / that human beings live in such an exalted state having Speech, this is Grace.
The spoken word, the written word. / Things so ordinary, so taken for granted, so pregnant with possibility.
The emptiness between two souls is always / chaste, virgin, pure, / waiting for Grace, for the bridge of light, / for Speech.
The Gift of the Word, originally called Speech, was written on
Epiphany, Jan. 6, 1997, in the evening, in about a third of an hour.