Taking hold of what is

Source: Mark 4:14-23

I am seven years old.
Exactly seven years, four months and ninetytwo minutes old.
I can't tell how many seconds: they go by too fast.

I know twentyseven thousand, three hundred and four words. That's twice as many words as most children my age know, and more words than my father knows.
It's as if I've learned one word every one hundred and fortyone minutes since I was born.

Actually that's all I do, learn new words. But I'm not a genius. Words are hard work for me.

It's hard because I don't very often use words to speak. The words speak to me.
They speak to me at length, and very slowly. They speak much better than I do.

There's something shut away inside them, and that's what I listen to. I think I need them.


One day, a funny sentence came to me. I don't know where it came from. Adults say I can't tell the difference between what comes from the inside and what comes from the outside. What they say is not always very accurate. I would have said this young person has no ipseity, but nobody around me knows the word "ipseity" so I didn't say anything. But even if I'd said it better, it wouldn't have been accurate: I can tell the difference between the words and myself because I know the words are inhabited.

The funny sentence was this: "My spirit rests on the pommel of the Lord."
In the words' religion, personification like that is called a metaphor.
Usually the words explain themselves to me. They tell me about themselves: they tell me about a situation where they've been spoken, or they describe themselves and tell me what other words think of them. Sometimes they even tell me what they dream: being connected to another word, one they think is more special or more attractive, or one they would like to be with, to create a new space that no one has ever imagined.
Sometimes they tell me about the images they would like to evoke when people speak them. Most of them are artists.

People often think that words exist for people to express themselves, as if words were servants of people's thoughts. That's just not true. The truth is that words use us to express themselves. If we didn't have words we wouldn't have spirits; words are the spirit's backbone. That's what the word called "Soul" told me.


"My spirit rests on the pommel of the Lord." That sentence stayed with me for several days. It had lots and lots to say. Whenever a sentence contains the word "Lord", the words sing. When words sing, they are close to mystery. They fill me with love. They fill the silence with something that cannot be spoken. They speak to the soul. That's how I found out that words can talk to each other, too. When words talk to each other, there is silence; only they can hear each other. Among themselves, they call their silent language "what cannot be spoken".

The pommel said what it is. Sometimes, as the pommel of a cane, it provides support. More often, as the pommel of a sword, it's at the forefront of strength, where the hand takes hold, in readiness. The word "Lord" never speaks; it is.
Listening to that word is like being brought to nothing and brought back to life several times a second.
But it's the pommel of the Lord; it's not my pommel.
That's what makes the sentence extraordinary: it's an invitation.
We can each enter the sentence; we can each rest our hand on the pommel.


Undoubtedly the sentence was part of what cannot be spoken, but because it contained the words "My spirit" I could hear everything. My mother calls that being foxy.

"Let anyone with ears to hear listen!"
I have a friend who sows words. That's how he describes it. He often says he looks for felicitous sentences in which he can sow words: "sentences with a fine spirit", he said one day. I like people who sow words. They feed my life.

So I told him about my funny sentence. He listened, gave me a quizzical look and then, as if he had just re-encountered a friend of very long standing, his face lit up with an utterly extraordinary smile and he answered simply, "From now on we're together."

"From now on we're together..."

That's a strange sentence: the word "Lord" isn't in it, but it never stops singing.

I'm seven years, four months and ninetysix minutes old.