I’m Genevieve, and I’m sort of all over the place. Besides making it a point to write something (anything!) every single day, I also paint, love to dance, and have a million artistic goals in my life that include learning how to sing opera, perform belly dance and keep bees. I’m also trying very hard to keep up with a blog I started a few months ago, The Maniac’s Path, a blog unashamed of navigating difficult topics like self-harm, abuse and body image.
Spooky wanted us to focus on the theme of Foundations for this week, and without a doubt my first love was the written word. Before I knew how to write, I’m told I routinely sat at the table with a pen and pad of paper and scribbled what looked like cursive in horizontal lines, page after page, until I had accumulated enough scribbled pages to bind into a book with a stapler. After hormones kicked in, the storytelling turned to poetry – love poems at first, hand delivered through a trusted messenger (and then promptly discarded by the object of my desire), but over time I began writing poetry about the things I couldn’t find the right words for in daily conversation. How do you define that feeling when the last school bell rings to let you out for the summer? What about the quietness that shrouds the land when it begins to snow at night?
Language is derived from the word “tongue.” But I began to realize that spoken language makes up such a miniscule portion of how we, as human and sentient beings, perceive the world. Through poetry, I question our daily experience of what we think language is, versus how it actually functions and plays out. Language is not merely ink on the paper, spit on the tongue – it may be an intangible aspect of the human experience, but it is one that serves as a foundation for all of our lives; in our dreams, our relationships, and how we use language to relate back to the physicality of our bodies and the soul’s wish to endure.
So, as silly as it may seem, here is my foundation: the alphabet and the dictionary. Two indispensable tools that have been my friends for years, and with them as my foundation (and these weekly artistic prompts!) I hope to find and fashion a language that can serve as a bridge between worlds we have been raised to believe as opposite: lust and love, the corporeal realm and the imagination, soul loss and homecoming. I can’t wait to start.