Genexhibitionist | By Maya Dexter

No Words

Genexhibitionist | By Maya Dexter

April 2002

MY LIFE has been an endless river of words, rushing forth widely from my mouth, and fed by quiet tributaries trickling from my hand, until 1999 when the source called my keyboard was discovered and widened the river significantly. Words have come easily to me all my life, my first distinguishable ones dribbling forth at 9 months of age. This is the blessing of Mercury riding astride my midheaven. I have learned that for me it is best to walk along the shores of language to keep my sense of direction and stay my course.

Lately I have come to unfamiliar territory. The river sinks in places, disappears from sight, runs underground and I am forced to navigate dry terrain. I suppose there comes a place on everyone's path where words begin to fail to express experience, but without them I feel incomplete, as though I have been stripped of my identity and lain bare before the world to judge by its own vernacular.

I have not found a way to squeeze within the confines of curves or between the straight lines of any letters, this feeling of being simultaneously full and empty. I have found no metaphors, those longtime literary lovers of mine, to entwine my experiences in. There is no sunset like this, no ice cream, no anecdote. I sit in this empty room naked in my suffering and know that every pain I feel, every electric pulse of anxiety, is invented by me. There is no one on whom to lay blame, tempting though it is. There is no victimization, my old friend and knight protector. There is simply me, in a room full of mirrors. Every time I point my finger it points squarely back at me, even if it has to travel around the globe to get there. Every negative face is a funhouse distortion of my own, much though they appear to belong to those I am close to, and every shining light in my darkness emanates from me, even though I long to pin it on someone else, to go limp and be rescued and carried out of this mire. But rescue is an invention of ego, pure illusion. We are our own heroes.

And as I grow to understand this, I know that there is nothing to say. Because nothing is there. This reality is virtual. At the edge of my being I sense a wholeness -- a oneness, but it isn't concrete; I can't reach out and touch it even though I wear it like a suit. And yet this does not lessen my suffering in this life. The Tibetans have a saying: "Don't mistake understanding for realization. Don't mistake realization for liberation." Alcoholics Anonymous has a similar saying: "The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem." The world is full of this wisdom, and yet I feel so completely alone in my perspective. People around me fling cruelties and throw up barriers, protecting their egos like they were Camelot. People profess to get it, but I wonder if it is not another barrier thrown up to protect from the humiliating suspicion of their own ignorance. And then I wonder if this is how I appear to the world. I wish I could hide, but who am I hiding from? I am only accusing myself again through the guise of the faceless world.

So I have come all this way and I have only reached the starting line. I want to be rewarded for that Herculean effort. I want a cheerleader, an ego massage. But it would be hollow since I know it's an illusion. Every time I feel like I am getting somewhere I look around to find myself at the beginning. Maybe the location of the beginning has changed. Maybe we're always at the beginning; maybe that's what the fool's journey is all about.

And maybe my job as a writer is just to try to document this journey in case anyone else is having this dream and feels as alone as this. Except that there is no dreamer. And there are no words. ++

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