Representing reality

I sat in the “Whiski Rooms“ at the top of the Mound in Edinburgh.
Looking out over the city.
It was a damp November sunlit afternoon.
The watery sun was setting over the skyline. 
The dark grey historic buildings seemed to come to life
The sun had changed their context.
They were speaking,
asking questions,
Was anyone listening?

I looked at the poem I had written.
It was on my screen.
It wasn’t the same.
It had changed.
The words remained the same but the context was obviously so different.
The text was now embodied in a screen,
imbedded in a media process,
part of a series of pictures.
Words hanging in a misty damp atmosphere.
Emerging from the background the text spoke with a different voice.
Even the characters took on a new presence.
They moved, 
They marched,
Changing - but always in time to the dignified music,
of Hans Zimmerman entitled, Honor (For Oboe and Strings)

I stood at the open door
Waiting, texting on the edge of the black and white corridor
Looking down the stairs
Crowds streaming past,
moving up stream into the Assembly Hall
In the distance I see Knox
holding the Word in the darkness,
Beneath his hand,
my companion fumbles
to send a text in the dark.
We’ve found each other.
We’ve connected

I’ve come to listen
to a Celtic bard,
once a bishop,
now a Lord,
Reflect on language.
To think about,
what he has to say about
“Representing reality”
He smiles, he says,
“When we speak about the world we inhabit,
we do so in terms that go well beyond simply listing the elements of what we perceive;
that is, we construct schematic models,
we extrapolate,
we invent, and we use our imagination.
If we think harder about what is involved in representing things
(rather than simply describing or replicating them), we may discern something more.
We may discover that the way believers talk about God,
is closely linked to the ways in which what we call ‘ordinary’ speech
seeks a truthfulness that is more than simply replication.
Moreover, we may understand how speech is regularly stimulated to do this in moments of linguistic crisis or disruption.

I woke up this morning
I was on another journey
I was was thinking about
the language  we use to talk of God.

Before long I was
learning this journey has no end,
yet  knowing with God all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well!

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