Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers

MY BLOG POSTS COMMENT ON SOME ASPECT OF WRITING & READING.

The Ripening
The Ripening:
A Canadian Girl Grows Up

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self. Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare! "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Curva Peligrosa
Curva Peligrosa

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" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

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FLING!
Fling!

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

"Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read."

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Freefall
Freefall :
A Divine Comedy

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" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
All This
All This

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" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
No More Kings
No More Kings

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" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Each finely crafted poem in this powerful collection comes alive on the page while she traces the days’ journeys with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, and the deft pen of a poet.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
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Tag: words as animals

Words as animals

I recently read the book Words as Eggs by Jungian analyst Russell Lockhart. The idea for the work, and the chapter from which the title comes, originated in one of Lockhart’s dreams. A voice in his dream said, “Do you not know that words are eggs, that words carry life, that words give birth?” (92). Lockhart later points out that this dream revelation isn’t exactly new in the larger scheme of things. In the beginning, it’s rumored that God spoke the world into existence: “the word is seed and gives birth to life and living things” (92). As eggs, words are constantly delivering new ideas and thoughts, filling our minds with possibilities and worlds we otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

Words as Animals

I recently read the book Words as Eggs by Jungian analyst Russell Lockhart. The idea for the work, and the chapter from which the title comes, originated in one of Lockhart’s dreams. A voice in his dream said “Do you not know that words are eggs, that words carry life, that words give birth?” (92). Lockhart later points out that this dream revelation isn’t exactly new in the larger scheme of things. In the beginning, it’s rumored that God spoke the world into existence: “the word is seed and gives birth to life and living things” (92). As eggs, words are constantly delivering new ideas and thoughts, filling our minds with possibilities and worlds we otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

A writer, I’m fascinated with anything to do with words and how they inform, form, and reform our surroundings—and us. They are magical and ordinary simultaneously, both grounding us in their multiple meanings as well as suggesting possibilities that seem limitless. That’s one reason why poetry and fiction in particular have such a profound grip on our imaginations and on us. In his exploration of his dream announcement, Lockhart does a compelling job of taking the reader into the soul and roots of language, demonstrating how mysterious and complex these 26 letters of the alphabet are that have an endless capacity to change shape.

So when I recently had an auditory dream that said “words are animals,” my antennae went up and the animal in me growled. What was the dream trying to convey by making this analogy?

animal copyUnlike humans, animals aren’t governed by consciousness. They simply exist, functioning instinctively, motivated by immediate needs: hunger, shelter, survival. Also unlike most humans, animals follow their impulses. Their innate drives are their engines. They just do whatever they need to do as they live each day.

How then are words similar to what I’ve just described? If animals, at least domesticated ones, allow us to corral them, to absorb some of their otherness, their wildness, then words must give in to our domination in similar ways. The very idea that we are abstracting something vital from the language we use in our attempt to create order out of the chaotic mess that unruly letters can make saddens me. We’re draining something intuitive and spontaneous from the method we use to communicate with others and with ourselves.

Is the dream suggesting that as we domestic words, as we drain their animal characteristics from them, we are civilizing ourselves too much, becoming more alienated from our animal origins and perhaps coming to resemble more the robotic gadgets we’re surrounded by? I don’t have any final answers, but I’m curious if others have thoughts about this subject.

 

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