Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tinies no. 6

The windows are open and the cool August air is flowing through the house. Up here in the land of the Yanks, it's time to root for sweaters already...

Tinies no. 6 lands on a Sunday, and that seems right because it's called "Words," and my favorite verse in the Bible invokes the rich, multi-stranded idea of λόγος (Logos): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Tinies no. 6 is a smaller view of "word," although it too involves (as in Genesis 1) the making of a world (here in imagination) by through words.

If you want to read all the tinies, either scroll down or else click on the Tinies label below. They will make more sense that way!

WORDS

Old Martin taught us the words. He made us a dictionary and wrote down what he remembered. It is a lot and a little all at once.

I have pored over his pages, learning to read and then wanting to know everything about the place where I was born and where I belong. And I do know a great deal now, and how that world is faulty and fair at once and infinitely complex. Yet what I hold is only a fragment, and so much more might be known.

When I lie on my mat, dreaming of the other world where are people who know my name, I feel a great longing but also a kind of shame. I wonder if I am worthy of the dream, and whether my smattering of learning can ever compass the blue and green sphere of that world, flying, hooping the sun.

But that world must stay as is in my dreams: I shall never know more unless I find a way and pass through. So the old world pieced from Old Martin’s words must be partial and lame and tilted on an axis between knowing and unknowing.

4 July 2012

5 comments:

  1. You say you aren't writing anything lengthy or significant...but these are already adding up to something full of questions the reader wants to ask and have answered.

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  2. Me too, though I don't know if I'll ever answer them all! Distracted by the reading assignment...

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  3. A dream-like quality. Surreal.
    I have read this three times now, and must dig deeper still!

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  4. Hello, Paul--

    Yawn. Just woke up from a very long nap. Don't dig too far or you may end up in China or some place farther still. :)

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.