“I want to see our words jump off the ground, erupt from a sensual earth, musty, humid, gritty. I want to taste words like honey, sweet and dripping with eternity. I want to hear words coming from my mouth and your mouth that are so beautiful that we wince with joy at their departure and arrival. I want to touch words that carry weight and substance, words that have shape and body, curve and tissue. I want to feel what we say as though the words were holy utterances surfacing from a pool where the gods drink. . . . .
My language must be redwood speech, watershed prayers, oak savannah, coupled in an erotic way with fog, heat, wind, rain and hills, sweetgrass and jackrabbits, wild iris and ocean current. My land is my language and only then can my longing for eloquence by granted. Until then I will fumble and fume and ache for a style of speaking that tells you who I am.” – Francis Weller
One of my first blog posts in 2012 featured a speech by Francis Weller that captures so eloquently how the earth, our natural habitat, speaks to us and inspires us to speak. How it shapes our language and the way we express ourselves, not only in literature but in art and music and dance.
You can read his whole speech at his website Wisdom Bridge – Modern Pathways to our Indigenous Soul. The excerpt above, my quote of the week, hopefully will whet your appetite to do so.
As you read his speech, you might want to listen again to how nature inspires and shapes music, here in Max Richter’s reimagining of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, one of my favorite pieces.