“To be is to be in dialogue”

That’s a quote (from memory, I’m afraid) from William Eaton’s piece, “Wild Life, Wild Mind” from which I launched yesterday.

Today I got a wonderful note from a poet-philosopher-friend from Boston and Montana who gave a poetry reading recently from his new book, Having Listened (‘about’ prairie fence posts, among other things).  He opened the reading with these words.

. . listening is at the fundament of every encounter, not only between people, for it’s also there between people and things and between things themselves, listening each in its way to everything else, like the fenceposts, that see and hear everything from where they stand. This openness to the fundamental connecting that listening sponsors, calls forth, calls out, evokes, whatever way we verb this, is the wild coming at full gallop always and always, or as the Buddhists might say, now and now and now…   Even in our missing it, it has us.

Gary got me thinking I should work on a metaphysics (or poetics) of call and response, communicative mutuality, the idea that at bottom it’s not matter hitting matter, or star bursts, or mind relating to matter, or souls seeking God, or poets seeing nature, but speaking-hearing, hearing-speaking — as if touch were the beginning of words, and light sang, and stones wept, and the symphony of touching and weeping and singing were that than which we can’t for the life of us go deeper.


3 comments on ““To be is to be in dialogue”

  1. Dean says:

    Beautiful reflections, Ed.

    I’m reminded of Hamann’s robust creation theology wherein he takes seriously the notion that the whole world is expressive. Consider this quotation:

    “Every phenomenon of nature was a word, — the sign, symbol and pledge of a new, mysterious, inexpressible but all the more intimate union, participation and community of divine energies and ideas. Everything the human being heard from the beginning, saw with its eyes, looked upon and touched with its hands was a living word; for God was the word.”

  2. quynhtien11 says:

    Reblogged this on A Secret Lover.

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