A Thousand Brilliant Lies

I’m now in the last lap of preparing for my show that opens in Provincetown on July 20th. The last few weeks have been a kind of silence retreat, intensity without a spoken language component. And something does shift for me when visual language becomes the dominant modality for an extended period of time.

When my son was 16, he went on a no talking, no writing, no reading retreat for a month. The decision amazed me at the time, and still does. Shortly after he returned home, he was scheduled to go to Alice Springs in Australia to spend time in the Outback. A colleague who has spent a lot of time with Australian Aboriginals told me that going to this retreat right before leaving on his trip was probably the best preparation my son could have taken. “Aboriginals are very distrustful of language. They have a different method of knowing. Their response to most white folks is ‘Stop talking so I can find out who you really are.'”

That’s a good description of where I’m at right now. Silence seems the better entry.

Someone Should Start Laughing

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

How are you?

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

What is God?

If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean

Can pass through that tiny opening
Called the mouth,

O someone should start laughing!

Someone should start wildly Laughing–

Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

2 Replies to “A Thousand Brilliant Lies”

  1. I’m so glad I found this post today. It rescued me from my Blog Sick state I wrote about in my latest post and made me realize why I felt so. I once was a painter and I miss it. My life is mostly words now, and yesterday I got so blogged out I felt disgusted. You have revived me, before I begin my day away from blogs, but still in Word Land, reading a book. I just started blogging this week and feel disoriented, Alice in Blog Land. Thank you. I will write about this the next time I post, but I am taking a day off.

  2. It is a constant struggle, this love of words and a need to get away from them. Thank you for checking in!

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