“The Place Before the Words” 8/7/15
I’ve spent some time there lately in that place before the words
Deeper than the words that come later on
Difficult to find, even more difficult to forget entirely, yet almost impossible to find the way back once you leave it
As though it were not, nor ever could be again that place leaves permanent marks on the soul; it stops the tongue, opens the eyes, may build a wall around the heart, not a wall of exclusion, but one that holds in to guard the pain and treasure found in that place
Neither possible nor right to put words upon the wordless, by suggesting some expression about this place that is at best acknowledged, yet remains mostly a hint
It is not a place I choose to go to. How could anyone choose something not known to exist?
Yet, once I am there in that place before the words, and only then, do I recognize as intimately familiar the wounds and holiness of this place.
Not the kind of place anyone chooses, but more of a movable place that comes to those who see dimly their own tenderness and holding that view with deep honor, as well as much agitation, are broken open in some bitter-sweet mixture of grace and terror.
Once, one has fallen by some path of distress into the place before the words one cannot undo that knowing, or the haunting question of what light that place sheds on all of the other places in one’s life.