Hildegard von Bingen describes her inspiration in this way:
“I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries … [that] I heard and received … in the heavenly places. And … I heard a voice … from Heaven … saying to me, ‘Cry out therefore, and write thus!’”
For my part (who me?), I’ve little or no idea from where these [my] words are harvested and gathered.
Nor am I even sure of how a word should be read at all at times.
I am rarely sure of when a word should be read as literally true or when as a leap of the imagination, and when a word should be understood as fact, and when as fiction, and when a memory is reliable, and when not. And the same doubts exist for me with regard to the mind that may claim to contain such memories, and with regard to the person who may claim to be the owner or the author or the identity of such a mind. Who is that person, actually?
And who are you, for that matter?
But then, what do any of us truly know and understand of our “reality”?
Isn’t it all in some sense a reading of the mind?
(And isn’t there always, left over, still, some element, some part, something, mysterious, unfathomable, and unreachable?)
And who, then, are you?
And who me?
It’s all in some sense a fiction, isn’t it?
And a little like a dream.
And therefore the names, the characters, the places, the events, and all the myriad incidents described in these [my] fabricated mosaic of patched together words are either entirely the products of this make believe author’s disturbed imagination or else persons, places, and events, seemingly real, but used in a way so as to render that seeming reality entirely fictitious, such that any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual places, standing or in ruins, or to actual events, contemporaneous or historical, is little more than the play of chance; it’s purely coincidental.
What I (who he/she?) do know with confidence (faith), is that even a collection of words that on their surface may be read as fiction or “merely” story may in their depths possess a resonance of meaning whose force may be experienced and known as luminously meaningful, in words profoundly true when read by the opened human heart, and of a power that may at the same time open one’s eyes, ears, hands, arms, mind, and do so rudely, all at once, as in a blink of realization, and awareness.
(Be opened, human heart).
And words collected here on this [web] site [my] [words] are words written entirely in a personal capacity, as one specific example within a great variety of human person, and just that one who, in essays, in thinking, recalls freedom, in considered thought, speech, and action, and one who, modestly exercising a basic human freedom of expression, evolves hopefully to be a human person a little more expansive, in heart, and mind, and a little more generous, and forgiving, and understanding, in his thinking, and his words, and his actions, and all this evolution perhaps to some purpose and benefit.
And if sometimes, very occasionally, I succeed in these [my] words to express some truth or wisdom it is thanks only and always to the example, instruction, and guidance of my teachers. But when I err – as more often than not I do – I err entirely alone, under my own misguided responsibility. And on those many latter occasions, when I find myself again in error, I would beg for your indulgence, and ask you please to be patient with me, and forgiving. And please, do then help me, too, to develop, then, a somewhat clearer understanding, if you can, and if I can. I should be grateful.
And sometimes the things that you might think would go without saying are precisely those things most needing to be said; and here, then, and now, I’ve said it; a disclaimer, of a kind.
And for what to make of the rest, it’s up to you.
Whoever you think you are.
Whoever you think I am.
Whoever I think I am.
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