the alphabet and the goddess

Some time ago, I read the book The Alphabet Versus The Goddess, which proposes that written language rewired our thinking and way of being to a more linear, masculine approach, leading to the diminishment of holistic thought and the submission of women.

I agreed with it at the time. And then I read Byron.




I am just a small and quiet woman living at the edge of the world. I'm not as smart as I wish I could be. I can only speak from my own experience. Art is a beautiful wild language. But writing does not have to be linear, nor domineering; writing can be like a weed that cracks the stone; it can lay seeds for your journey and sing your home.

I don't believe I'm biased - after all, I take photographs too, sometimes more often than I write things. It's just that writing is more to me than black marks marching in a line across a page. It is the tone of voice and heart with which I hear it. It is the shape of a smile, the turn of the wind. And I think any avid reader would agree that those black marks quickly dissolve from the consciousness as mental imagery begins blooming from the text into the private imagination. As a writer, I begin with the picture, and find what words I can to describe it so readers may also see it. Language serves imagery.




God is in the wind, the breathing; God is a song. We may have art to express the goddess, creation, whatever you call Her. But we must have an alphabet too, for the sake of worship and transformation. They go together, energy and matter, god and goddess, love and beloved; they can not be parted. That there has been gender imbalance in our culture for so long tells me we are learning and growing. We looked up from the breast of our Mother and felt the wind, and so we embraced God. But we went too far in one direction, as children do. More and more these days, people are blessedly returning to the Mother. I hope they will have the wisdom to not let go of God also. When we can hold song and silence together in our hearts, we will be mature.

11 comments:

  1. This made me think of what Richard Maybe wrote in 'Nature Cure':

    “It is odd that the gifts of image-making and language are so often seen as the attributes which irrevocably alienate us from nature, are the cause of our Fall from grace ...

    “Yet why on earth should this ‘estrange’ us? The notion that going ‘back to nature’ ... must necessarily involve some equivalent retreat from self-awareness is absurd. We have evolved as talkers and dreamers. That is our niche in the world, something we can’t undo. But can’t we see those very skills as our way back, rather than the cause of our exile?”

    Yes, language and art-making can be our way back. Sometimes I never feel more wild than when I am writing.

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    1. "I never feel more wild than when I am writing." Oh yes, me too! I think it is why I love writing so much. I wish I could express how intimate it makes me feel with the wild world.

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  2. As I write out my favourite prayers and psalms from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, my bones sing... they know the words, the imagery, the meanings :)
    I just read this poem over at beguinegain.com:

    Did you hear about the rose that grew
    from a crack in the concrete.
    Proving nature's law wrong it
    learned to walk with out having feet.
    Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams
    it learned to breathe fresh air.
    Long live the rose that grew from concrete
    when no one else ever cared.
    Tupac Shakur

    xx

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  3. You cannot have intelligence without the desire to create and express. So what does back to nature mean? Living like rabbits, gibbons? Or that life would be better with only campfires and oral communication - romantic drivel and a onesided restraint of my first sentence which would soon elope and evolve anyway. You can't go back.

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  4. So beautiful. And yes, I feel we need both our Mother and Father :)

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  5. I love how you describe writing as a blooming into the imagination. Good writing takes us on the most beautiful voyages. I've missed you! xx

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    1. thank you for all your beautiful comments on various posts, it has been so lovely to read them :-) I also have missed you, wonderful to find you on instagram.

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  6. Thank you everyone for such great comments! :-)

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  7. "When we can hold song and silence together in our hearts, we will be mature." Beautiful!

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  8. This is beautiful. My very favorite writing is imageism; words that are more picture than story. I love this.

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