What do I do when the words fail me?
When my father died, I took up photography, bought myself a good Pentax with zoom and close-up lenses, learned to just be quiet and look.
When my spirit was being abused at work, I volunteered to be the dresser for a play, and learned the language of the heart from several wonderful women of color. Without saying a thing, I immersed myself (an adult being baptised) in their words, their world.
Other times I’ve turned to collage (which has been calling me again); have walked and walked in springtime hills; have lost my way so completely in the heart of an opera that I nearly didn’t come out. I’ve learned to paint Zen brush circles; have wordlessly spent a summer pruning potato vine, and another finding Morris dancers in my neighborhood park; have reshaped letters—only their outward form. I’ve sought the past in Swiss mud, British mud, and traced the inscriptions on Roman milestones.
Today, I’m cooking wild rice, chanelling the autumn: no serious cure, for a momentary loss.
image: Christie B. Cochrell, Letter Sculptures in Treviso, Italy