Worlds of Words and Meaning

Human Bones from Graveyards of Les Halles in Catacombs, Paris, France

Human Bones from Graveyards of Les Halles in Catacombs, Paris, France, by Alison Wright

Sometimes it’s like working in a graveyard, writing, shuffling dead words like dry bones, grey on white.  Creating pretty shapes and transient meanings –


Beating still time in the hot stale air of my mind.  Every word moving me further away from the target…

(the target?)

Sometimes the page is flat.  Sometimes it’s a tardis.  An outer expression of an inner world, it’s entrance (like me) shopfront unremarkable, it’s objective correlative, the universe, my mind.

Appearing words (worlds?) unconsciously, projecting them onto this portal page, which holds them safe and when time aligns, embeds them in the mind of the other.  The other then living a thousand lies (lives?) in new worlds of their own imagination…

Do I make any enduring meaning, swooning in this play of creation?

What truly matters can’t be expressed in words.  And yet, neither can it be reached without them.

Sometimes it’s like working in a graveyard, writing, but sometimes it’s like dabbling in heaven.


15 thoughts on “Worlds of Words and Meaning

    • Yes, metaphor – sometimes writing feels a little like fussing around inside my own mind, and the words can seem a bit dead and dry. I love to write (and read) but worry it can become a meaningless distraction, taking me further away from my spiritual purpose – i just don’t want to be wasting my time in this precious life, and blogging and the like can swallow up a fair bit of time! On the other hand I firmly believe that ALL activities, mundane or creative, can be made deeply meaningful and indeed become spiritual activities when performed with the right motivation. So I oscillate between the two views, and I suppose that’s what I was getting at with this piece (and the picture). Thanks for your thought provoking comments.

    • For me this piece was very evocative and I had a number of thoughts which I would like to share. Bones mean a lot to me because in my youth I spent a few years studying art and when I first failed at life drawing, I went back to basics and just drew skeletons and skulls over and over again – so that I could understand the structure on which our bodies are built. Only through this detailed examination did the drawing begin to take shape.
      It also reminded me of a recollection which is not mine, but belongs to a Japanese friend. She once she told me how, after the death of close relative, they would sift through the cremated remains and pull out the bones. For us, this sounds ghoulish but it is done in a ritualistic way and assists the process of grief. I sometimes wish we had more of these rituals in our Western lives. But thank you for sifting out these thoughts from me …

      • Thanks Amanda, I love the way the same piece of writing can evoke so many different experiences for different people! I am also quite drawn to bones, and don’t find them ghoulish at all – rather, I welcome them as reminders of our mortality. I think it’s important to remember that this life and this body will pass, so that we don’t over invest in them, or forget to consider what (if anything) comes after, or who we really are. Than you so much for your comments, and bringing these thoughts out in me!

      • You are welcome and thanks for sharing this…you are correct to desire that we in the west have more rituals to assist in grieving…I think it’s why we culturally get so stuck in grief, we don’t have the processes to deal with it. As someone who has worked with the dying, providing the space to ‘sift through the bones’ of their grief is so important in moving on. Thanks and kind regards Leanne

      • Sorry I’ve taken so long to respond but I just read this…if you go to my post on the award, it will tell you what to do…by just copying what I did….you also have the choice not to respond to it, it’s absolutely no problem if you don’t, not everyone chooses to. Regards Leanne

  1. Love this post, love your writing. And I love the “metaphor” in the image you’ve chosen, too. We build our lives, our words, on what’s gone before us, moving forward and upward every so slightly, inch by inch, thought by thought, stone by stone. Nothing’s ever wasted.

  2. I think you work in the graveyard because you have no choice. And why not? Poetry is a language and a way of seeing the world. It comes to you naturally and you speak it so beautifully. In that graveyard you are unearthing your spirit and by sharing it… you’re enriching ours. Thanks Michele. You are a such a pleasure to read.


    No doubt your last line answers any and all the questions.

    • Hi Chris,
      Thanks so much for all your thoughtful comments. They mean a lot, and I look forward to reading more of your writing also – what I’ve read so far has actually given me goose-bumps!

  3. Trenchant, apt and beautiful, Michele. Yes, writing: so often airless, limp, lifeless (pointless?)…and then those brief, astonishing flashes of “dabbling in heaven” (perfectly put)! Making us, and the page, come alive. I totally agree with you about the blogging aspect: is this what I am supposed to be doing? As well as perspective of our responsibility to bring meaning to whatever we are doing, (thank you, Joseph Campbell). And sometimes I think, fleetingly, wouldn’t it be grand to be an airhead and not be chasing my tail with all of these thoughts?….Thank you for the stimulation and inspiration. xo

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