I understand? Mar 2, 2012

by Eric Pitsenbarger


The yearning to be understood.


Swimming, entangled and adrift in a chaos of meaningless conversation. Words that say something but are nothing...that only add to the muck of hyperbole. The sensation of speaking, of being heard, of passing vital information gleaned from your soul, your being...what was it you said?


What comes out of our mouths, through the aperture enabling the sound of our voice, through a hole in the middle of our heads...the utterances that by the very act of speaking convey a desire to be heard. Delivering a gob of information we speak: because there is something we want to say and in the speaking, to illicit response. Even if the response is merely in listening we enter into a conversation with others (and hence with ourselves) and commit the deed, the words, the message that will say everything we are, that we desire. By the act of committing we plant a seed, we direct our voice into the universe with the sincerity of content, to commune with the great 'otherness' and have solace in the knowing that we exist. We speak therefore we are alive. 


Or, the mechanism of creation produces static. Nonsense that fills up the air with meaningless noise. Speaking words that illustrate a reverb feed back into which we become entangled and lost to the deeper intent. Speaking becomes an action / re-action that only produces bubble gum jaw wagging. The language becomes noise, becomes a groping, pawing instrument of chaos. 


What we strive for is to be be understood. To be wholly, remarkably, individually and together as a family, embraced and understood. To be understood. To be fed, to be loved, to be heard and understood. We exist to be loved and to be heard, but if we spout nothing but noise we are lost...doomed to continue bleating until someone, some thing hears us and responds.


I dreamed about swimming with Molly and Matt on a flat grey bay with the knowledge that there were sharks under this water. There is implicit danger here and it was in the swimming from one point to the other and then back, the act of daring and strength taken in navigating potential disaster that illustrates how when I open my mouth, will there be something that furthers my cause, or chews my face off? In the depths of desire to be understood, I test and test and swim and flail, dog-paddle or butterfly, sometimes verbose, sometimes succinct.


The expansive, radiating immenseness of work that tEETH offers challenges me to swim with sharks and speak; to live and speak with honesty and integrity. To dive into the muck of whatever is under there and use my mouth, my heart and mind to speak...and to also make noise.