Wording

Lately I’ve been thinking about metaphors (nothing new about that in itself) and how the words chosen when talking/writing about science, ethics, and environmental issues might influence the reaction in people and their willingness to reflect and act. It’s a big field, from biblical wordings (and their translations) about dominion, usage, and stewardship of the earth to modern capitalistic conceptualisations of human beings as a resource. Words matter. Some are dark matter. To achieve the desired effects, careful wording is essential. Then again, words are easily employed to manipulate opinions and emotions. Where is the line between gently steering people via purposeful education into the direction with the most promising outlook for our species as a whole and the planet we keep changing, and blatantly misusing this tool to enforce a scientific world view on the brink of turning into an ideology to counter the ideologies deemed more harmful, to manipulate people into sacrificing the freedom of forming opinion and ruminating and coming to good conclusions based on knowledge, not fear and force? How can we use words to make people wonder again and delight in discoveries? How to break new ideas to our kind so often afraid of change and the vasteness of the cosmos? How to make people feel involved?

 

(Also, I hardly make any progress reading my books at the moment because my mind strays to all these side tracks of thought. Tonight’s rambling is presented to you by the introduction of “Earth in Human Hands” by David Grinspoon. You should see the crazy stuff Carl Sagan does to my brain … he did metaphors so well. Normally I’m a quick reader, by the way.)

It starts with a word or two. (What I wrote while I waited for my pizza.)

It starts with a word or two, a string of thoughts, a random image, and an empty day will be filled with new poetry. It’s raw, it’s wild, it can’t be forced to grow. Some days will remain emtpy, some will bear threefold fruits.

I want to be made from light and song, bring out the stars with my words

I want to know what creation was like, watch the colours pour into life

I want to know what the world was like when it still was what it was meant to be

I want to know, I want to taste the immense nebulae and every deep, dark creek and crease and fold of time and space

I want to write about all the beauty there is, was, was forgotten and reborn

It starts with words and ends with speechlessness, images too bright and pure and folded in themselves, colours the mind can see but our eyes cannot. Colours twisting into shapes taking up more dimensions than paper and brush and ink and reed can hold, more connections to be made than could be soldered on one wooden board with the finest diamond-sharp tips of midnight tongues.

I want to hold strings of words in my hands, pearls of syllables, hard and soft and round, rolling, rolling

I want to remember the faces, lines of laughter telling stories passing me on the street, manifold

I try to write and sing and live all at the same time, fingers tripping over blurry lines

It started with two simple lines, and it became the plea of help of a soul drowning in a torrent of images unleashed on dry ground, barren land not able to soak up all the wonders as fast as they are poured out, the golden song of dust being washed away too quickly before a microscope could be found to examine every speck down to its poetic make-up of crystal genes.

Thoughts born from interstellar clouds, delivered into bare and empty hands.

 

 

 ~~~

Writing this happened between writing the first paragraph and waiting for the pizza in my oven to be done. I had jotted down these first few words and lines as a Facebook status and then the idea decided to take a walk on the meta-level.

 

 

call me star-child

When I was young, I dreamt of space –  space would be big enough even for me to find a place where I belong. Only the interstellar nebulae with their multidimensional structures of infinite colour spectra would be complex enough to hold all my dreams and thoughts. At school people used to say I was from Alpha Centauri, but I knew more than them about the worlds beyond our atmosphere, so I told them they were stupid because because Alpha Centauri was, is, will be until it explodes a star, not a planet, and my body is just like theirs, like yours, not made to live in the fires of a sun but in a realm both earthy and filled with cool air tasting of home and freedom. They tried to extinguish the flame of my adventurous spirit, my sense of wonder, tried to chase me out of a starry-eyed scientist’s Eden. But here I am, burning slower now that I’m not in the body of a child hungry for candy-cotton clouds of mysteries anymore, but still I’m burning strong, I reclaimed space and the oceans for my dreams now that the past seems farer away than the moon, so yes, you can call me star-child. I’m what some people might call indigo, a stranger, a visitor. You won’t be able to find my sign on the zodiac, you won’t know my ancestry so you might think I’m fairy born, one of the wee old folks dreaming away among moss covered stones and ivy curtains blowing between trees, but it’s just that the instincts for a way of life older than theirs and yours are encoded in my genes, my soul knows it was created by the only one more ancient than the stars. So call me star-child, for I am their younger sister.

——-

“[…] You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God […]” (Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”, 1927)

And yes, the thing about fellow students at school claiming I was from Alpha Centauri really did happen, and not only once.