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10 May, 2008

What's In A Name?

I breathe a theology of words.

Language is a holy thing, a thing of power, threaded through with the power of raw creation, the power to speak the name of a thing and bring it into being, evoke it, make it more real.

This is the power that humankind shares with the gods: we have words. By our words, by our ability to draw concept into reality, we make and break the world.

We make and break both large worlds and small.

Sometimes the word is "Mine".

Sometimes my response is, "Your what?"

Because there is the underlying theology of it, the spiritual drive: name me, claim me, speak this real, take up the power of the gods and name, what am I? Which of my kaleidoscopic shapes is forefront in your mind at this moment?

"My lover", sometimes, close and sexual and partnered. "My blanket", a laughing snuggling claim demanding warmth and comfort. My friend, my partner, a pattering of nouns each blowing a little reality into one piece or another of the complicated shape that is what is a relationship.

I breathe words of heirarchy, of mastery, into his ear, just to hear them said. To speak them real. To invite him to speak back, at times; other times to plead for it, to ask to hear myself recognised. Sometimes just to say it, to have it said, breathed out again like the sun breathes out dawn, not changed, but asserted in the real as Re-Horakhty asserts morning.

And here is the deep magic, one of the secret powers: when a thing that is seen, recognised, and named true is a thing that, in another world, cannot be shown, cannot be seen, will be taken as shameful, defective, broken - when that thing can be heard and celebrated and named aloud - that is power.

It is the power to be the thing from the dark.

It is the power of being seen, recognised, named, heard, known.

It is the power of the ringing words that have the power of the gods, the naming of a thing as real.

To recognise power, to name it, to have someone see it and be aware of it and move in the space of the named thing.

There are words that come out of the primal dark places, the places where things are unspeakable - or at least treated as unspeakable, and thus live in the space between denial and absence. There is, sometimes, "my sacred whore", whispered or growled or spoken with dark red undertones of emotion, and with the rich velvet intensity of reality.

There are words spoken then that some people would call degrading.

And I don't understand how that could be.

These are god-words, full of spirit, going bump in the night, speaking of the power of the shadow-things with teeth. It is not degrading to be.

Name me.


Anonymous said...

"To recognise power, to name it, to have someone see it and be aware of it and move in the space of the named thing."

Yes. I know that thing. Not the same words, not the same roles, but I've been there. I've called back a lot with my beloved, and one of the most powerful pieces was language.

Eileen said...

That was a lovely, satisfying read.

Anonymous said...

And what I forgot to say: Thank you for putting these sorts of things into words. :)

Anonymous said...

Fascinating contrast.

I name things to destroy them.

A problem, once named, is rarely a problem anymore, just as a question, once asked, so often answers itself.

When I name something, I achieve knowledge, understanding and mastery over it. It loses its power over me because, having named it, I no longer fear it.

Then again, what I'm talking about is no contradiction to what you talked about -- and your statement is broader. When you name something, you create something good: a truth, a pattern, or a relationship. The way I spoke just now, I destroy something that lurks in the dark and terrifies me by bringing it into the light where it can do me no harm.

I'm just posting because I'm curious how you'll react to my thoughts.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

A horror unnamed has no form; it can creep in anywhere, as it lives unconfined by language, by being. It can be subliminal. It can be everywhere. Naming it is binding it, shaping it to a particular thing, creating it in a form.

And I think you are not so different from me, too, 'cause I read Dev writing about casting you in words, asserting ownership and claim and place. Neh?