It Pains Me to Say
 ~ by Jane Yeager

This mouth my dear, is an unconscious confessional through which pour the spirited matters of body and soul. Words and tones that are imagined, nourished and positioned by toiling organs are sung, spat and ‘sentenced out’ to meet the ear of self and world. Broadly-cast from the soul’s mystery into a breast which teems with secret, self-sacrificing passions and ancient wounds are the archaic and sublime sounds of those awkward, archetypal lovers, Pleasure and Pain. In a flash of recognition, the bold grasp of pulsing desire meets the electric clasp of disdain and what their perfumed mating intends, struggles toward life’s surface, in words. Transformed thus from struggling impulse to potent force, the lip-smacking fruits of pleasured pain are carried in culminating force through the canal of human frailty (and prudent infidelity), popping out singularly as props to the outer play and collectively, as servants to the inner stage… (a paltry service, given the profound wonder and honour of being cast to the wind of winking in and out of this kind of life).

The first threads whisper and wail… laugh and lark their way out from the throat. Eruptive syllables are sewn up in storybook fashion and are pledged to the air in profane and sacred, magical and mundane prose. Their smug and seductive sounds are pouted through a maze of hyperbole and linguistic tittle-tattle (in hectic, moderately cadenced or laconic style).

Bits of the speaking mystery are chased (and sometimes chastened) by original and common prayer and if captured are as likely to be flayed feverishly for all their worth on the altar of voluminous and rhapsodic prose as they are to be taken down, into a naked and cold-kneed kiss, at the foot of a beloved and ordained lament. While purporting to bow earnestly to clinical, ecclesiastical or legal writ, the simplest of lines can become allied with fear. Their potent intercourse is scattered into the mirrored shadows of obscure, hedonistic and rambling ruin. The   bell of initial truth is all too briefly heard, its sweet intonation being sacrificed to the gagging and ever shifting sands of the academic, corporate and political drone.

Flushed from the loins of self deprivation, the flesh of Divine Inspiration falls inspirationally and medicinally into the service of life. Strands of enigmatic intent may escape the grasping, gasping and devaluing show, priming the hand’s excitement to engage in forthright service and in functional joy, the untying of tongues linguistic and the fingering of instruments artistic. The uninhibited scent of that untidy romp carries bodies onto the sheets of fondling the mythic jest, fingering the mystic clay and freeing the voice of scientific lore to sing its original song.

And in a fine twisting, rib-tickling, kicking up of the heels of fortune, the rare turnings, raw stirrings and shameless beauty of words may be pounced upon by the heretical, poetic kiss.

Our letters might leap into life to be pressed and bound by the volume to a novel’s heart, pinned in rare moment of discovery to a fecund, scholarly breast or set in regal stature to a divine nature’s musical score. Splashed onto canvas and into moving images each vocal character is re-addressed to the eye, sacredly, timidly, insanely and perforce. Hopping out from their various natural habitats they are persuaded onto newsprint and into be-doodled diaries. Those that carry resonance with the body are pierced colourfully and painfully into the skin and are licked in tongue lolling fashion through woven threads to be spat wildly over shirts, shoes, bags and caps.

The exhibitionists among the tongue’s publicity hounds splash themselves against all manner of walls. Their open legged language flashes private and public ‘bits’ under flickering lights and plasters verbal pasties of promise against the seductive, insolvent screens of fleeting opportunity. Those characters of sound which exhort passionately and effusively their imperfect truths out from behind lecterns and pulpits, which thrust themselves mightily into ready throats from atop high podiums and which gush dream-like and cross-legged through serene mountain vales, share a common sphincter; one that twitches in response to the overwhelming urge. The soapbox over which the voice of rhetoric and out-projection reigns, relies for its integrity upon boards grown by the goddess of rot and nails forged by the god of rust. And words whispered across a kitchen table to an empty chair, slipped into a dreaming child’s ear, traced with a warm fingertip onto a lover’s back and cried out across a sea of green turf, poppy strewn and stone crossed… all these words claw at the grave of love and mouth its deep magic back to life.

Should the soul’s singular and collective forces find a tupenny’s worth of innate power, they might leap from a trembling wand to ride that spending wave into sensible form. Thence they may be tossed into the air, perhaps to be caught by the eagle-eyed imagination or perhaps to fall without purchase into the blinding flood of ambient noise. Their recorded natures may be committed to shelves, consigned to museum halls, interred in the heart’s yawning canyons. What of this brilliant stuff and nonsense is not carved into living trees or scribed on the sides of bathroom cubicles may be laid to rest in the world’s archival tombs. And all these shards are felt in the body and are then drawn out of time and space, back again into the vast sea of nether-life, for their pains.

Burdened not by the business of their making, the newly hatched, half-shared and shelf hardened revelations that post their form on the backs of words (said, erroneously to be original creations), care nothing for what they mean or how they look or sound. They are never to be caught canoodling with what intends them to speak as messengers of a deeper life; nor can they be found negotiating with what bids them fall silent just short of spanning that divide between ignorance and ‘a-ha’. But we do, my dear. We humans do care how we are interpreted…how our meanings are taken and that is why we are mostly deaf to what is really said to us through our talk.

Words are the hounds of a lost sound baying from between the cold stones of unconscious and conscious life. They are the cries of the wounds of time which bleat piteously, enticingly, from the lips of that forgotten, wild thing. Clothed in lamb-like attire, they are made to reveal what lies behind false modesty and fading grace. Their roaring voice says more than what is heard and it knows not the gregarious nature of its mirth’s unyielded smile.

The sayings of the mouth may marry their full meaning to the ear when a mystery attends the receptive heart and invites it to perch in plain astonishment upon the rock of an explicit and sensual grace. And even through the engaging service of the Divine, Operatic Pen, (that stylus which is inked with an intoxicating respect for the unknown), the deep will of a life-driven impulse enters and delivers its prime message at least in part at the expense of the jollified and underexposed flesh.

And there may come unto us that radiant, life serving moment when what the ear hears and what the deep heart has intended it to hear, are one.

The lips, my dear, in their indiscriminant nature, part, rarely blessing the ear with a direct line to and from the soul. They open more commonly not so much to impart as to expound upon what they really mean to say. Sallying forth astride the folly and fright of the inner sex, the mouth protests its dewy happiness and holy misery to the hilt. And should the ear skid suddenly off the greased wheel of hearing that habitual rant and should its curiosity surge into the receptive plane as ruled by the three divinities of Verse, Wonder and Woe (which take their ease most commonly on the mouth’s sharply pitched plank), oh how laughter would out-cry grief! And by virtue of this deeply felt relief, one might flatter the heart’s artful understanding, by welcoming back all manner of the soul’s related bits… retrieved and suddenly, ah-ha…simply from the air!

Had we the courage and capacity to entertain all of what our organs say, might our bodies be inclined to cry less through illness and pain and more through the song of a brave and splendid health? Do we feast obsessively on words heaped onto the table of relative ignorance and bliss or do we set a telling table sufficient unto the soul’s need? Sat to a fine linen cloth one might learn to savor words as characters in a life long poem which share a deep appreciation for and relationship with the instrument of their making.

What it pains me to say takes no pains at all to be written and heard in the heart, anew.
Ah…one word, if just one word be spent well in a day what fortune might be made from that soul-purchased luck and the astonished mouth’s trap could then be and is now, well and truly… shut.

Jane Yaeger,  (Penelope Jane Fields), has been a writer and artist all her life. Her two dances with cancer, world travels and initiations from inspired teachers continue to nourish and challenge her pioneering spirit as a woman, a writer, a teacher and as an artist. She reads poetry, story and art like a dream; sensing the feeling truth living ‘between the lines and brush strokes’.
“The invitation is to place ego in harmony with what wants to happen in the moment. My creative and teaching ‘muse’ is, in its ever-present sense of humour, a guide…through the most testing and radiant of times.”

“Mystery Garden”, a new collection of soul writings, stories and poems is available by writing fieldspen@yahoo.ca. “Forest Walk at Twilight”, a DVD offering inspired poetry, classical music, the author’s voice and sublime photos is also available. Her web site’s life is in its infancy; www.thesetreez.com. P. J. Fields lives with her husband in the Kingston area of Ontario, Canada. Her teaching work takes her throughout the world.