Monday, August 21, 2006

Non Sci-Fi Quote of the Week

A dear friend shared this passage with me the other day. It's a quote that I find fascinating, in part, I suppose, because I live my life in the company of "words." How often, it seems, words prove truly insufficient for the genuine expression of emotion.

And also, I deeply love my cats because, I suspect, in my quiet moments with them I achieve what every writer occasionally needs, a respite from all the words; a freedom to sense and understand a life form without the weight of symbols or pre-conceived notions of "meaning." My communication with the cats is instinctual, primordial, and simple. It relaxes me.

Anyway, this passage is from May Sarton, from The Poet and The Donkey, page 92-93:

"How often, in human affairs...such a simple misunderstanding of motive or need causes all the pain and anger. Because we have words, we think we can explain ourselves to each other, but how often words fail - the elusive fish of personal truth slipping through them unseen and unheard. But, Andy thought, in a relation with an animal, we are back in the good wordless world which tests our naked sensitivity. Intiution, sensing is everything. And as he slipped back into sleep, he promised Whiffenpoof to try to be more aware from now on, to learn her language as best he could..."


  1. Andy Partridge of XTC covered this conceptual territory beautifully in the song "No Language In Our Lungs."

    And I took my own stab at it a few years back with the tune "Hallucination (No Big Deal)."

  2. On another subject ... any chance you have any comment on the Spike Lee Katrina epic that's currently airing on HBO?