Am I a being,
Or am I a being,
Or am I a being
— being air, being fire?
Responsive Writing Exercise: I re-wrote "land water air fire" over and over, each time allowing my sensory experience of the wind at Dune du Sud to more deeply inform the shape and contour of the words.
I've been reflecting on language. As an English speaker, I'm a minority on the archipelago. With the exception of two English speaking communities, the dominant language is French. Even though I grew up in southern New Brunswick - which means I took French classes until I was in grade 9 - I'm decades out-of-practice. And, even in grade 9, my fluency was far from mastery.
Since being here, there have been situations where I have been communicating with someone who speaks no English. Maybe a few words. In these moments, I've found myself simultaneously trying to recognize French words, but also paying attention to the shape of the words, their texture and tone, and how they're carried in the body of the speaker. Through the latter awareness, I feel I'm sometimes grasping a deeper level of meaning in the language. Something resonate with the landscape.
Back in the Winter, I suffered a concussion. I hit the left side of my head very hard on a wooden beam. What followed was three months of healing. In the first month, I had shifts in sensory experience, particularly with sound and language. There were moments where I would experience words through the senses, however there was a delay interpreting them through cognition. For instance, if I heard the word water, I wouldn't be able to immediately attach the word to language, and the meaning of water. It was as if I was having the opportunity to hear language through origin-al place, rather than a superficial understanding.
In all of this, I felt drawn to birds. I would listen to them for hours. Knowing they too spoke a language. A language that was comforting to me.
"Only by altering the common organization of his senses will be able to enter into a rapport with the multiple nonhuman sensibilities that animate the local landscape."
I wonder what it would be like to embody the rhythms and the contours of the wind, in language? To write words that become sounds, and sounds that become contours, reflective of landscape, movement. Can we dis-member and re-member language so that it becomes embedded in real landscape, rather than being a landscape in itself that is floating above and away from the natural world?
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