Naming the Unnameable

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An object can always have a name. This designated thing sits in its space; sometimes a geographic space of physical linkage and relationship, sometimes an emotional or conceptual space; and we, from the perspective of our own place, can then name it. But what if this ‘object’ is a constantly changing, multi-dimensional, fluid process, and we who wish to name it are equally fluid and constantly transforming. And what if the worlds around it and around us are similarly transient? How can we put this into words? How can we name the unnamable? And out of this questioning, the even bigger question; how on earth can we meaningfully speak?

When teaching in class situations I find this conundrum easier to resolve, as I can accompany my words with gesture and movement and changing textures of rhythm, inflection and intonation. In writing, I can’t do this and so I often find myself dipping into verse form, or combinations of verse and prose, while all the time holding the aspiration that somehow the dancing of your whole being – your body/brain/mind/community in the act of responding to these printed glyphs – will bring forth a sense of meaning that links us in dynamic dance, an intimacy of intermingling lives arising as the un-pin-downable mystery of our co-existence.

Begin with this living.
this unity relating.
Not an abstract concept
but these particular cicadas,
this aural tapestry of pulsing song
of wind and trees and fuzzy warmth in left ankle
and this mysterious need to touch you so deeply that the universe
laughs in cascading smiles of consummation and delight.

Begin with the unity of experience that you are dwelling in,
the seamlessness that you are.
There are no gaps, no holes.
Sight and sound and smell and taste and touch and remembering and feeling and empathizing;
swimming through and with each other,
a flowing of experience,
the miraculous presence that is happening now.

Is this not how we live?
Seamless, awesome gob-smacked presence
living unities birthing stories of bits and fragments;
thrilling in the vibrancy of hopes and
fears and worries and wonderings,
this passion in action,
this wholeness containing all characters and places.

Feel your way into this.

It’s dancing, leaping, turning, balancing,
bending and surrendering always.
Flows of smell,
rhythms of texture
colours of knowing
patterns of now-ing;
Volumes of sentience within volumes of sentience
Sphere-like and spacious
No boundaries, all centred,
Galaxies singing
Worlds within realms
Realms within worlds these
Dancings of dancings
Musings of musings
Reaching of reachings;
Cells and mountains, molecules and stars, collectives and singularities,
this living,
this privilege.
Creation all over
magnificent, incomprehensible, staggering and beautiful.

And emerging with this ungraspable wholeness,
A particular angle,
a focus,
a view,
an observer’s experience;
Mine, not anyone else’s.
Me, not thee.
An ordering of everything seamlessly complete
A uniqueness, unlike anything that ever has been and ever will be.
And I evaluate . . . We evaluate.
And judge, and select, and restrict, and funnel, and channel,
Bringing forth each other,
Bringing forth infinite gradations and colourations of others,
Universes emerging,
Talents in process.
Yogis of the natural world.

Trying to understand it, I’m pulled to a byway,
stalled on the verge with traffic blurring by in all directions.
Contemplating reasons, evaluating everything – graspings for certainty –
Breathless and serious,
then back in the flowing
again and again,

And gradually . . .
very gradually
Activity so subtle,
A transient feeling
This wholeness in motion
This ocean of responsiveness,
This branching of immeasurable branchings
This confidence of specificity
This exuberance of dancing plasticity.
This celebration of all of me, celebrating with all of you.
– even cancer cells –
All of us,
experiments in beingness,
Birthings of birthings
Possibility offered
Bridges from now to now,
Knowing to knowing
Stories unfolding
Blessed be this

These words are actually squiggles on a screen; black marks on white backgrounds. I sometimes think they have no more meaning than the black lines and dots of a musical score. Yet when accompanied by vocal cords and breath and feeling and memory and empathy –the bow of our breath stroking the cello of our communal bodies – music bursts forth, a kind of magnetic pull, inviting others to dance.

In the very midst of today’s media hyped egotism and lust for power
and celebrity, and global money and strongman blindness,
Naming the unnameable;
expressing the inexpressible,
being the living,
living the music,
musing the living – this interbeingness that we are.
May we learn to do this well.