H a n d a s L a n g u a g e
Of course the hand does not 'speak'. It cannot vocalise. But indulge me. 'Speech' has many forms, or to be more precise, communication does.
My preference is to work at the 'affective' end of the communicative spectrum, that is to say at the level of emotional response, inner arousal. The sensing being's experience of material (rock, water, music, wind, art: all life's phenomena) is 'other' than verbal. The felt response—that intimate stirring—trumps the rationalising impulse. We feel that which we experience before we 'think' it, before we 'word' it. Feeling is the bedrock of intellect.
This much is obvious, but an essential mystery lingers around the fact, a resistance. We are used to the idea that our learnt vocalisations carry meaning. Indeed, our chirrups, sibilances and plosives—our oral and aural acrobatics—are our top cognitive signifiers. By contrast, we neglect our innate powers of physical comprehension, relegating them to some deniable fringe of consciousness, when in truth they are the basis of all we know.
I love the fact that it is our carnal 'embeddedness' in the world that allows the whole shooting match of 'being' to operate at all, no matter how brainy we are. I find this 'other articulacy' very seductive. And inconclusive, muzzy, intangible, yet I dwell on it all the same. And I try to find words for it, fool that I am.
Not that I advocate some body/mind schism. Quite the contrary. This boundlessly evocative medium, clay (or 'mud' as I mischievously call it), is progressively re-framing the way I imagine intelligence. Clay re-grounds body and mind in the sensual. It is teaching me to 'be'.
The Intelligence of The Hand. It has such penetrative grace, a great heft of mind-opening potential. The hand cannot 'think' per se: it has no neurones, no synapses. But wow. The thoughts the hand engenders...
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