The Birth of Voice

The vast is still; the colors are shaped earthen. Each value of auburn and gold sweeps across the expanse of hinterland in swift strokes, raising moist soil from the fibers of the field. The dawn patiently waits, withholding its birth of pouring rays as the land is searched; cultivated, now quaking, sparking with life. A gentle, steady hum emerges quietly from the spaces between the traces of terrain. Deeply submerged in the chasms of softened darkness and chill, small seedlings begin to form, fragile, and hidden. Above the buried genesis, a cool emerald song blankets the land; enlivening and pricking the seedlings’ growth. One by one the emergence of a single root is spurred, and with courage each vulnerable new beginning advances through the grains of dirt that anchor it soundly. Penetrating every dimension, the song unveils the nature of the progressing creation; it is the origin of humanity’s voice. Each seed an utterance, each bud a speech, each conception a tongue, each word a release. Called to the surface by the Alpha, the voices stem from their safeguards of soil. The wild air of the heavens invigorates the developing fruition, the shoots fortify, stretching till tall. Limbs seek to clasp the sky; vocal chords begin to cry out. The seedlings surge into an erupting forest, the voices stand united.

Incomparable, all take their intentionally composed molds, nuances, and forms. From The Beginning, came the dawn of speech within the inlets to our souls.

Unto each creature made, a voice is given. Unto each voice, the trust of words bestowed.

Born to identify, communicate, explain, convey, and express the creations of both God and man, words accompany our every moment. Some are discovered in community, emboldened and fresh as the company they keep. Others found in solitude, drifting through the silence and resounding within us incommunicable mysteries. Few are the result of tumultuous grief, as billows of anguish crest to their peaks. While precious more reveal themselves in the morning, as the light sheds gleaming banners, unleashing the words hidden in joy and laughter. In authority, some can be vanquished like “fear,” “death,” and “vice” when others have proven their victory, “faith,” “life,” and “truth.” Passed down, whimsically made or accidentally uttered, words come into our possession, our care, our charge.

Author Henri Nouwen notes, “ . . . in Hebrew the words for ‘speaking’ and ‘creating’ are the same word.” As words dripped from the Lord, creations of every nature were labored into existence. It was His song that saturated the earth, drawing from the deep, the seedlings of voice, provoking them to breathe. The act of speaking, the formulation of words from our trembling roots, therefore have within them the gift to summon, evoke, create life. It is not the consonants or vowels that have the ability to transform, regenerate, restore, implement, and impart, but He who is in us, inspiring the utterances of our hearts, the meanings of our speech. No matter the strength, the height, nor the expanse of the sapling sown, that is our voice, each individual’s song is left vulnerable. A measure of sober accountability is placed; our tongues expose us for who we are. Out of the overflow of the mouth, the heart speaks. Our voices give us away. From the quivering branch comes the trembling lip; the rustling of leaves emits the gentle murmur of mouths, and determination to climb the celestial sphere proves itself true in declarations of freedom. Carefully grown, the seeds of our voices are as precious as they are powerful, originally aligned to the rhythmic beat of the Divine. However, as spirited creatures, in the deep of the wood, we have also tasted sulfuric ash, the yield of the deathly language that can creep from our tongues, burning branches unto roots. These devastating articulations of speech are commissioned by malice, lust, fear, vice, gossip, deceit, betrayal, selfishness, pride, and the like. Mastery of voice is sought for attainment, in order to conceal the whole of identity, to dampen the innate vulnerability and genuine nature. Regardless of the rearrangement of syllables sprinkled in honey, what is faithfully residing within us will be revealed, to the contradiction or affirmation of what is True. Therefore we must bear upon ourselves a resolute awakening, mindful of the life-giving or death consuming properties that words contain, and which our voices carry to the souls of one another. In the wild forest of humanity’s language, each tree can whisper to the roots of the other, strengthening, edifying, delivering hope.

Although our voices be not far, mankind searches valiantly for his or her individual tone over hill and high mountain, all the while failing to realize that it is a gift already given, not bestowed based upon our actions but based upon the grace that has formed us. It is matured and developed by every moment, every memory, every experience, every idea, every new paradigm, and every new word. It is an ever- growing wonder in a constant state of metamorphosis. It is right here — not contained by a page, but demonstrated through story. So may we open our mouths and create life in a world that is decaying, in full belief that the speech our voices carry holds unprecedented significance, shaping the day and age we walk in. Our words can imprison or free — what will we choose?

The Curator is an assemblage of original and found essays, poetry, reviews, quotations, image galleries, video, and other media in a continuing commitment to wrestle with all that is in culture, and to look toward all that ought to be in hope.