Limitations of Speech
Much of what we say does not carry its burdened intent, nor does it unfold before us the intentions of those whose thoughts and feelings are metered, relying on time to penetrate what invisible barriers resists our feeble efforts.
Undoubtedly there is some advantage in a blind man's inability to watch with anxious impotence as his words tread their dangerous way to the mind of another, plodding ineptly, their frail strength weighed down with the heavy burden of thought. Yet, then neither can he detect the garbling of the message, the complete perversion of misunderstanding or the meaninglessness of a word that has lost its burden on the way. Therefore, of course he misses the incalculable advantage of rushing a host of other messengers immediately in the hope that one will make the crossing safely, of supplementing the gawky word with a swift flash of an eye, the grace of a smile, the sincerity of a gesture that say so much more than will fit into a word.
That words are poor messengers is evidenced by the wholehearted support we give them whenever such support is possible. Where the words must stand alone, in a letter, a telegram, a book, we put them down in fear and trembling; but then, they are the best messengers we have, so we make the most of them. Where they actually break down we are brought up short in the realization of our helpless dependence on them.
Sublimity of the Concept
In the tongue of these and many other writers, the ancient language, Latin, evokes and peeks a conceptualization ripe with fire to burn away all dross from what is refined within a heated passion of one yearning to be with what they so desperately long for. Yet this same object of desire lingers ever so close just as Michael Angelo’s painting of God and Adam, just “cms” from each other.
This however, remains a feeble example of the impossibility of squeezing the ineffable into the confines of words, which is obtained in the almost tangible silence that envelopes a moment of crucial parting of those whom love has made one. Such as that moment when we put the whole burden of speech into a tight, a lingering handshake, a desperate embrace, or the hopeless silence of tears, for when tears flow, there is no longer a self-controlled individual, only a broken one. Broken, not as inept, but broken as though the “DW-40” has penetrated the rust corrosiveness of metal, and has allowed what has been closed forever, to now be released, renewed and become an asset to both themselves, their companions and reassume their intended place effectively.
Here there are things to be communicated, but things too sacred, too deep, too wide for words. Moreover, there is that mysterious moment of intellectual maturity when reason's intuition sees antinomies merge and still remain distinct, an insight that must always remain utterly personal because it surpasses words. Nevertheless, if human love and human knowledge of created things reach heights too sublime for the plodding steps of words, obviously human love and human knowledge of the limitlessness of the uncreated soar to levels where words are almost a profanation of the concepts they might attempt to express. A light can be so bright that it destroys sight, a sound so loud it deafens the ears; and there can be a truth so great it defies the messengers of truth, which are words; and that truth is the truth about God.
In closing, as so feebly as I attempt, while I stammer, and stutter, forgive me for this. Always remember that words are indeed invisible messengers, which we cannot retract. They are dipped arrows, assailing our intended audience. We miss and often dismiss their internal ramifications, thus their outcroppings. Words, oh that we would use them more sparingly and effectively in our interactions with one another.
Bro Smith SGS