Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hank Johnson Searches For the Word, among other things.

                                                           no connection, I just like it.

Kristina said that writing was a little bit like dying one word at a time some days.

Hank liked the sound of that some how. Not the dying so much as the words.  Yes, that was it, the words, the worlds, the feeling and the meaning. Like dying. Like giving it all.  Like that favorite song, Witness, by Sarah McLachlan - "...And when we're done soul searching, and we've carried the weight, and Died for the Cause - Is misery made beautiful, right before our eyes, mercy - be revealed, or blind us where we stand?"  Sometimes it's like that, to carry the weight and die for the cause.  One more, as Bono says, in the name of love.

Rod Serling used to say "You're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone." Again, he liked the sound of the words, & the feeling. Yes, there it was again - the feeling and the meaning.

And from somewhere in the Bible, the beginning of the Book of John, the beginning of the world, "In the Beginning there was The Word. And the word was with God. And the Word was God ."

There it was. Again. Words, God's words, created the world. At least in that one interpretation of the scene.

Hank's brother had once said something about words being how we thought as adult human beings. That we thought in words. He knew that was true, but not always, or perhaps not always the whole of it.

How much of his Dream Time was spent in an absence of words? Not all, but still much. A dimension of sight, of sound, yes, and of touch and smell and time and space, of feeling, and of fog. Always that fog in his mind.

Hank remembered something they talked of once, in the old time, he and she. Coming up, or perhaps across as it were, from one of those long twilight zone times of senses all alight and more somehow, to the knowledge, the absolute certain knowledge that there was and is a place of being where light and sound share a same frequency.   He had  later lost that taste, that touch of that realization. For years lost.

And then The Ring.The ringing in his ears. The ringing in his brain, or was it his mind. He didn't know when it started, at first only noticed when all else was silence. Then gradually The Ring asserted itself as a real thing. A certain tangible thing in of it's own right, it's own reality and reality changing existance, undeniable. Inescapable.

And then he remebered that place. The Place where Light and Sound and Touch and Taste and Love were all the same. The same frequency.  The same meaning.
And Hank knew again, The Ring.

Could he somehow catch that light by paint or by photo process?
That light, that equal to The Ring.

And what of words? At once pure abstractions of things more tangible, more Real, and yet very Real and tangible things in their own right.  To capture the word, the just right word to abstractly or concretely represent a thing, a dimension, of sight and sound and touch and smell and Feeling, for which he was just not sure there was a word or even a combination of words.

And there again, he found The Ring.

Hank will keep searching, living, loving, reading and writing, for the words, for the word.


  1. "To capture the word, the just right word to abstractly or concretely represent..." This is the whole of our reaching, isn't it? It's why we face down the blank page, even if we end up writing something not at all elusive. The sheer effort of capturing something in words without limiting its grandeur draws us. Thank you for this reminder.

    Take care,

  2. I love the way you start with quotations and let you own words vibrate out from the center, like ripples on a pond. And that fog--is it fog or clarity? Feels like it has elements of both. Really enjoyed this, John. Keep writing.

  3. "...the absolute certain knowledge that there was and is a place of being where light and sound share a same frequency." Ah, what a lovely idea this is.

    This whole piece has the feeling of dreamtime - reads a bit like poetry. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This IS very poetic. Lovely. I think I shall need to savor it again with a cup of coffee & the silence of 3 kids not yelling at me for breakfast.

  5. Thank you writer friends for your kind comments and encouragement. It's nice to get this from people I respect so.