All Language is a Longing for Home


Child - Staring Out of Window at Rain


Words are the pillows upon which I cry.

                                                                      ~ journal entry

Sometimes I find inspiration to write from my own stream-of-consciousness script. Little spontaneous lines that I jot down on napkins or newspapers stranded on dirty little café tables. Or fragments that fall out from a journal page as I reread pages of ancient scribble.


This line has been lost for several years. Some secret search-and-rescue team recently returned it to me.


I ran to the comfort of its private truth. I squeezed it and out poured a cousin-quote.


A quote from Rumi: All language is a longing for home.


These two simple lines meant a whole lot to me when I committed the greatest, self-advertised failure of my life: my divorce.


These lines still mean a whole lot to me.


The power of words and the act of writing helped to heal; helped to corral me through a dark rite of passage.


When divorce became a reality for me, I crawled into my journal. I claimed my address as east of the spiral binding and north of the blue line.


There is a structure and freedom in words that offers stability. They have solid beams and spacious windows.


Words take flight like sparrow’s wings. Perch on rooftops – alone and watchful.


They watch until they understand. Then take flight again.


Dew drops on their wings, in the morning light, are like pearls. Shimmering opaque. Their meanings both solid and liquid.


Pearls are born of woundedness – injuries to the oyster, whose immune systems fight by cauterizing irritation with beauty. When the shell is opened, the pearl having healed its landlord’s house, is free to leave.


Free to travel the seas and the lands. Free to be pierced with holes and strung between knots to form jewelry. Wrapped around human flesh or hung to dangle from spongy earlobes. Or stitched to gauzy fabrics and floated over lithe bodies waltzing in the night.


The curing beads find themselves in many places alien.


They are mobile and always glistening with serene smiles because they are complete.


They are at peace.


They have served as healers. They travel always with their medicine kits wrapped up inside.


They are always at home, always content, wherever they go because they carry their homes inside their smooth exoskeletons.


Words are like pearls to me. They hold their historical lineages of meaning inside of their compound contraction of characters. They can be written or spoken, translated, misspelled, and mispronounced. Their definitions can be added to or subtracted from. They are flexible and unfettered by the urgency of their users.


They are the raw materials for communication.


They are neutral in war.


They are eternal and patient.


They live in dictionaries for authentication, but, they travel endlessly while still at home.


Like pearls, words wear their homes.


Humans may try to make them homeless, or arcane, but, never do they truly succeed.


Words are at rest around us . . . to comfort us, to provide for us, to teach us, to heal us, to furnish the homes of our thoughts: our pain, our joy, our creativity.


Words live individually but thrive in the community of language. As we learn to befriend words, we join the clubs of language. We seek to speak ourselves into existence. We speak our homes through word expressions. We write to see our homes constructed on a page.


Without language, we might not ever find our homes – the true homes inside ourselves.


We are free in words.


We are home even when homeless, if we call upon words and trust in their wisdom of generational meaning.


Language carries us to the doorstep.


We must enter the home and claim it.


Writing is a roadmap. Full of: Blue highways. Back roads. Dirt roads. Crooked paths.


Writing plots our trail back to the heart home we carry inside and project outward. tree



Language can be both a ceiling and a floor while the walls are crumbling.

8 responses »

  1. Words to live by. Ponder, roll across the tongue, and scroll through the brain. Words center us, then discombobulate. Feed us and reveal us. Wrapping the unformed in forms, seen, heard, and witnessed. Thanks for the gift of your words today, jayni.

    Liked by 2 people

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