05 Aug Language as a Field of Energy
WHEN WE GIVE A NAME TO SOMETHING, it’s no longer just pure being. A name or a label carries with it an idea of what that thing is supposed to be and do, set in solid stone instead of being a fluid concept.
What makes a thing what it is? An apple an apple, a bird a bird, a human a human? What makes me, me? What does it mean to be myself? Is I the part of us that doesn’t change, or is it what’s continually evolving?
How are we to know who our true self is? We’re given a name when we come into this world. That name relates to our physical body, our internal structure, our thoughts, emotions, decisions, and acts. But these things shift and change and adapt to how we dance with life.
That name might be known to thousands of people, or maybe just two. But that name means something; it carries a weight. When I say my name as I meet somebody new, I wonder what they’ll think of the name. I’m Vinny. They might already think they know me. That is who I am, just a name, and I am what you see.
But we’re more than a name and a physical body; we’re more than even what we’re feeling in the present when we look in the mirror. Perhaps we have to let go of that name, that idea, to become something we never knew was possible.
A name seems solid as stone because the name doesn’t change; what changes is the name’s energy. Our energy is fluid — it takes and gives and interacts with the world. What we know as reality is only what we’re able to perceive through the bodies we’ve been given. But there’s so much more in the domain of the incomprehensible.
Our energy is just as much alive and well and entwined with what we can’t grasp, recognize, and appreciate, than with what we can. Our energy explores through the space beyond our physical realm; it garners insight and wisdom from all that’s been and that which will be.
Our energy runs deep into the earth, through our feet and into the planet. As we interact with the world, we’re sharing our energy; with our words, we can use our energy to build up others and connect, learn, and grow.
Because when we don’t speak, share, write, connect, and create, our energy isn’t being made manifest. It’s flowing through the rivers of our spirit and the veins of our body, but that energy might never reach the sea where we all may float together.
One word triggers others whether implicit or explicit,
writes Professor Anna O. Soter in her essay “Reading and writing poetically for well-being: language as a field of energy in practice.”
A sound created through the phonological resources in any given language, reverberates throughout our emotional, physical, and mental bodies. What we see and hear is not ever the entire picture. Renaming language as a field of energy, physicalizes it, endows it with the capacity to manifest experience, to make thought happen.
Speaking comes naturally to us — but what we think and what we say rarely connect exactly the way we imagined, even though in our head we know exactly what we wish to convey. Language is challenging.
We’re not as naturally inclined to write, however, and perhaps that’s because writing allows for precision, and often, we don’t know how to be precise. We can say exactly what we want, but with that freedom, the river of energy still becomes blocked, as if a tree has fallen to block the flow.
And perhaps that’s okay. The water will find its way around because it will keep flowing and trying to break through. Writing and speaking are both forms of exploration and connectivity, with oneself and with the world.
In speaking, we can try without constraint. We may allow the well of energy to flow from our inner being; perhaps it won’t be precise when we speak our truth — but it will be real, alive, and deep.
What’s from the heart seldom makes sense. But that’s what we want, isn’t it? To connect in the deep waters, no longer where we can stand in the shallows? We want to connect out there, in the unknown, to take this thing on together. We’re irrational creatures, imperfect beings, using the tools we’ve been given to make sense of this incomprehensible life.
It’s when we don’t try, at least at something, that life becomes too much to bear. When we keep what we want to say locked away in our mind, we hurt from the inside.
And when we’re hurt we bottle that up and we carry that experience if we don’t let it out. To write and to speak and to share is to heal. And maybe we don’t always need to. Maybe the thoughts and emotions must formulate in the vastness of our mind before we feel ready to share.
But we can only grow so much without allowing our energy to interact with the world. Healing, too, is a fluid concept that takes a connection with something bigger than oneself.
We’re not alone, no matter how alone we feel; just as the energy within seeks to flow without, the spirit of the natural world and all that’s in it, longs to dance with us as well.