Play Time # 1: “And the Word Was Made Flesh.”
Words are powerful. They structure how we think and feel everyday. They help us claim our experiences. They help us claim our inner lives and help us communicate externally from one individual sack of skin to another. They can help us create new orders, structures, and relationships for governments and societies.
But here’s the but: we have forgotten the fundamental origin of words. Words come from our bodies. They come from our flesh. They have flesh. They have sound. When you say words out loud they have shape. They make shapes in space. Currents. Using tone, rhythms…. Fundamentally, spoken words come from the mechanics of our throat, tongue, state of tension in our bodies, shape of our breath leaving our mouths. Words are rooted in the sound our bodies make.
And when we claim the flesh of sound, magic happens. Word sound can take us right back to the object or experience the word names. Words come from the ejaculation of the breath about the thing it describes. Obvious ones: Yes!! Bye!! HaHaHa. Or onomatopoeic: Splash. Fizzle. Zoom. If you listen and play with more words out loud, you can feel the shapes of the words and their ability to evoke reality: The tones of the voice can go up and down, languid or fast: River. Ri---ver. Ri~~~~~~~~~~~ver. You can feeeel/create the trajectory, the flow of the river. (You hear this in songs.) Feel the cloud’s shape as your mouth goes through shapes: Clouds, Cl ou dss. Cl OW dz. Or train. In the sound hear the compact object hurtling down a track. Crush. Sound moving into compression that continues. “Let me hold you.” Feel the opening in the middle of the word “hold”. It begins with the clear, soft, but boundaried “h”, moves into the open space which includes you, and ends with the strong, defined “d”. You will be enclosed, held. Then of course the tones, pitch etc. can make the phrase go from safe to menacing.
Make the words flesh. Listen. Speak. Create experiential worlds with your words———.
Some words you could start with: steam, giggle (let the “g’s” vibrate), taste (feel your tongue), merrily. Notice what vowels give and what consonants do. Kids could have fun with this too.