Source and Filter

November 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

The words began as air. As all words. The air was cold and crisp and slightly heavy with an imminent rain and a foreboding though the foreboding was separate from the imminent rain. Who knows how to measure foreboding. It is like the proverbial obscenity. You know it when you see it. Or feel it. Such was this air, foreboding. From this air came the words. The same air had been a billion billion words before. Sometimes the same words, sometimes the opposite words, sometimes in languages long and forgotten. This is what we mean by time, atoms of air carrying one word and then another.

The air fell into her lungs as the pressure fell. Something here about Bernoulli. Before air can become speech it must first restore the blood. She exhaled into her larynx, closing her vocal cords, and began that ancient noise, the sound of a buzzing throat, the call of our species, the music that has altered the course of history each time it has been summoned, flapping vocal folds in the airstream of our tracheas like flags in the wind, beating, proclaiming, staking ground. The Promethean vowel. Aaaaah. And then she molded it, carefully, her tongue, her lips, her teeth, her cheeks, hard and soft palates, muscles of the face and the neck. Like clay in the hands was this 300hz buzz in her face as she shaped it into sets of meaningful signals. A million little movements. A holy ritual. This is what we mean by time, to participate in this as humans have done and always will do. We pray to gods when we ought to pray to the act of prayer, for it is our true god.

What she said was: No I will not go.


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