"We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of he whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty. to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal One. And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beautitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object are one." "The Oversoul" essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Wordlessness .... a blissful and absorbing experience, a place where concepts dissolve, and everything is love." Martha Beck, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World
From an early age I used words, written words, to express myself. I did this because my ability to express them verbally, was brief and often times, inadequate. Yet I was totally seduced by, and still relish, the written word in both of my languages, Spanish and English. Somehow writing makes words more meaningful, durable, solid. As in a friend you can depend on. Verbal words, have the opposite impression on me. They are ephemeral, just as they are said, they are gone and often times, forgotten. The written word, on the other hand, carries an echo of authenticity, courage, and dare I say, love. Even when read out loud, written words carry the sacredness of bells, flutes and drums. They play in harmony, just like in Amanda Gorman's light-filled poetry.
I enjoy words so much that I dedicated my first entrepreneurial endeavor to them. Back in the late 90's when I was living in Miami, Florida , I created a company called Words Unlimited Inc. with the mission of serving and promoting the cultural arts. Two successful initiatives came from this effort, the first was a community event called Words and Music, which showcased local musical talent and writers like presidential inaugural poet, Richard Blanco, and the second, my first greeting card line and ceramics which played with the beauty of the Spanish language.
Yet, more than the memories of my first company, a wordless feeling remained. A feeling which took years to decipher and explain in words. All I knew was that I wanted more of it. The feeling I couldn't pinpoint then, was and is, at the most basic level, the feeling of doing what you love and being in alignment with Spirit.
Fast track many moons later, I find myself in search of words I cannot find. The need to express and connect at a deeper level with myself, my community and the world. Even though I journal daily, blog weekly, and consistently work on creative writing projects, words just aren't enough to express myself these days. Hence, my drive and need to create art and walk the visual medium.
At first, my artwork was purely personal, experimental, and a medium to delve into the psyche, heal, explore and discover. Overtime, it has not only healed certain wounds, but helped me thrive and honor my highest self. It has expanded my vocabulary, both metaphorically and literally. It has re-connected me with Spirit, taught me mindfulness, the importance of this very second, and the zen act of surrendering and allowing.
And so, I finally understand that state of wordlessness.
I choose to live in it with intention and purpose.
It is a foggy morning. I step outside and feel as though I'm a cloud. Floating. If I close my eyes, I hear the sound of birds, a nearby squirrel in the bushes, a dog barking in the distance. Nothing is in my mind. My mind is empty and full of wonder.
I feel quiet. As I write these words, I'm figuring out what they mean. To feel quiet. Is it that wordless place where everything is still and you are in the center of the world, the axis mundi Eliade references? Is it that place where you remember your sacredness, how divine each of us truly are? Is it the way courage arrives and takes refuge in human form?
Is it a distant memory of the before time when all was perfect, cocooned inside a mother's womb?
I think this quiet is comfort. It is self-comfort. It is living in one's own womb before birthing anew. It is the warm , fertile comfort that sprouts new wings, where roots are fingered into the soil, feet sink into water and spread sand. It is a time-space when-where flowers quietly bloom from lips. It is the comfort that remembers the power of our imagination.
I love this quiet feeling, but I know that like fog, it will lift and a budding feeling will rise. It may be stark like a lightening bolt, or gentle like shimmering light over rippled water, but it will be a new feeling. Transient. Flowing.
But, today, at this moment, I love being a cloud.
The end is where we start from.
The new year has finally arrived. In a way, everything has changed and nothing has changed. Yet endings have a way of refocusing our attention toward a new beginning, a fresh start, an internal and external optimism of what is possible. It helps us remember our highest selves, the ones we strive to be, the ones we already are.
There is a circularity to our everydayness, yet on the new year, we get to re-create our world, as in primordial time, and celebrate a symbolic rebirth once again. The singular egg breaks open. We get to create this new world from the very beginning and re-design our imagined world on our white canvas.
For me, it is truly a beginning, not just a mythologically charged one, but a linear one. I left a career, moved to a new home, underwent physical and mental transformation through weight loss and sobriety and lastly, my spirit responded to the call and returned to Nature and wildness.
What does my new world look like? It looks like the life I get to co-create. One where creativity is valued and compensated, inspired by a community of open-minded, innovative minds and open-hearted souls. One aware of its responsibility to Mother Earth, allegiant to respecting the land and reciprocating its gifts. A world where collaboration overrides competition. And most of all, it is one filled with love, kindness, and optimism for what is yet to be born.
In the beginning, I am.
Ana Martinez Orizondo
Artist and culture creative.