The Beating Heart of Language

WORDS HELP US UNCOVER the concealed meanings stored away through billions of years of turning, burying, growth and decay. They are the keys we use to unlock the limitless potential of the world.

I put these signs down on the page, these sounds, and they trigger something in you; perhaps without consciously thinking you can understand where I am, and glimpse how I feel inside.

The English language comprises thousands upon thousands of words; one language, whereas human beings communicate using over six-thousand languages.

Like vines in a forest overlapping, interweaving, reaching for the sky; their roots dig deep below the earth and stem from a single source, the mysterious, beating heart of language.

We use words to acknowledge who we are — yet it’s a simultaneous disclosure — how can we expect to know who that is when words can’t sufficiently capture the essence of what makes us human, nor the energy that makes us, us?

I speak, I write, and perhaps you understand. Yet through that colorful light that shines through the fragile glass of my being, vulnerability itself, I begin to understand. 

We’re a mystery to others, most of all to ourselves; we think in words and dream in scenes and wonder what it all could mean — there must be some way to say I love you, without it losing potency.

That is language, a give and take, an attempt to answer the question: what does it mean to be alive? 

I continually write about beauty, because beauty rocks our spirit. Yet, beauty’s indescribable — a subtlety in harmony with truth — not always perfect symmetry or the spiral of an acorn, but what’s buried deep below perfection and is begging to be seen.

I write about the search for meaning, the depth of perception distilled from every action. I write about the paradox of pain, how we need it to grow, but what pain is, is impossible to know. It’s a felt sense, a part of breathing air. But it’s more than that, a philosophy that makes this life worth living. 

There must be some way to say it’s going to be okay, and feel it so. It’s the rest of existence bereft of language which speaks, but we’re only listening for words. For the right movement, the correct sound, coming from this music box.

What is it about music that carries us through life? Often the simplest of words, mixed like the paints of an artist’s pallete to create something beyond mere communication.

Color — the richness of a sound. Music touches the life within that can’t be known, it reaches the depth of self that can’t be heard, and speaks a truth which language can’t convey. 

But we try, and we sing, and we dance to the color red and cry to the color blue and exist in a world of green, all carried by a single tune. The heartbeat of the world, thump, thump, the beating of the red, rising sun. The tranquility of the purple falling moon. Color is emotion — color is language.

We listen to the words revealed by the earth; but we can’t hope to respond.

It makes us crazy. How badly I want to say I hear you, I’m here for you, I also want to know what to make of all this. So we go about our days trying with the words that we know, to speak on what we don’t know and can’t possibly understand.

Words fill the pages fill the books which fill our minds, all asking the same thing: what does it mean to be alive? It’s a gift not to know, but to have faith that this is worth discovering.

We change by our trying.

Our attempt to relate helps us figure out what exists below these muscles and sinews, between each beat of my heart and this mountain of bones. There must be something in here, some treasure in the mountain guarded by the dragon of our soul — a language unwritten, words unsaid, love unshared, life unlived.

So live it. Share it. Ask in the language of your heart what it means to be alive, and listen for the answer. Never stop listening. Color reality with the unspoken language known only to you, and every soul who’s ever been.

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