There’s a story about the arrival of Spanish ships to the New World. What the Indians saw first in the island of San Salvador was the small canoe you drop from the ship to get to shore. Because there is no port, they settle in the shore and send small rowboats. They were amazed by the workmanship of the row boat; the way that it was constructed was so strange, and the technology unknown to the natives. While commenting on the strangeness of that boat they overlooked the huge caravelle in the background. There was nothing in their worldview to point to that. This is a phenomenon often encountered in shamanic voyaging, where the thing that is huge and in your face you don’t see, because you’re looking at what is known. This is the Face Of God (FOG), which is right here on your face; always touching you. And you don’t see God because you see the illusion of the world. You create the idea of God as something remote. So you don’t see God, because God takes the shape of whatever is in front of you. Or that beast which is the Dreaming. You only see the dream, not the beast which is the Dreaming.
If I say “I am hungry,” the “I” which is hungry is a product of that language which differentiates between you and me. Isn’t it the case that when I say “I am hungry” that “I” in that context is different from the one that says “I am koyote” and from “I did not hear what you said”? Each I is a different entity, new each time it is uttered. Only the illusion of language supposes this I exists somewhere inside me and is saying and hearing things. The one that listens is also just a product of what is being said; what is being grasped. As the I who utters ceases, the I who listens ceases. Yet something remains. And what remains makes no distinction between the utterance and the listening and the reality, perhaps the difference exists only in the language which was discarded like a snakeskin.
Some stories were only told to men before the hunt and in the eve of war, around the campfire.
These stories were told and the men became the story as the killing and the fighting and the eternal dance of life and death were played.
And there are stories that can only be told to the dead.
I’d rather converse with an artist of thought than seek to destroy ideas and points of view. We may also get somewhere by walking together, as words come and go and we let them pass like clouds in the sky, without preferring one over the other, until only the empty sky remains… or the gentle rain sheds our countenance.
I talked to doves coming down to nest from the dormant volcano of my youth. Sometimes, I walked up the volcano and sit at the summit to watch the city before sunrise. Silence reigns at this time, yet the noises of the creatures of the jungle were there accentuating the silence: some crickets, a few barking dogs, and sometimes noises that I cannot describe. With the Sun came the calls of the proud roosters, the humming of the factories, and the cars going to work. Someone screams in the distance, and someone laughs farther away. A few isolated movements appeared. Then, the sounds began to copulate and mount one another. Suddenly, the cacophony of sound and movement begin to become two, three pitches, two sounds, until only one sound remained. The sound resultant was the humming of the beginning of creation, and with eyes closed then I became one with the humming of a city that was awakening.
When I dream, I like to see these worlds grow like tiny bubbles of soap. I like to see them color up and take on the shimmering lights and tentacles, to then explode into unnamable sentiments and feelings that I could almost name–if only I could remember the language of all.
I see the ones that are still here scramble away from me, swimming through the currents of air that flow into them. I try to touch them with my hands and I cannot. When I get close to one, it vanishes into the nothingness of illusion and memory. I know that just a few seconds before I was seeing those tiny universes made up of flimsy shells of dream stuff.
I can only remember them when I am asleep. I know that when I fully awake, they will give way to a shared reality in a solid world. Or in something that pretends to be a solid world but contains within it millions of little creatures and worlds that scramble away into remembrance and lost memories as I bring my hand close to the light and touch them.
In those long silences of my exile, I learned nuances of silence: silences that were vast and deep like oceans, and stormy silences; silences that were short, like lightning; silences that were ominous; and silences that were threatening.
I learned nuances of silence that later I would learn to carry through speech. So that when I talk, I would pay little to no attention to the words I was saying, for I was not interested in communicating words. I was more interested in communicating spaces, pauses, silences—create perhaps rhythms and arrhythmias of stops and pauses.
Nothing left to say
when all I hear is silence
your kiss is my voice.
Existence is a revolutionary act against the complacency of a cold universe.
The only choice I have
Is to exist
or not exist.
And once I choose to exist
I separate myself
And that is the only true choice.
In the Telling, there is a constant interaction between order and chaos, between silence and word, between meaning and the subversion of meaning.