Writing is an interior act and behavior. Anyone that engages in this activity understands this. You enter a world of your own and begin whatever it is that you or others might call writing. It is an inside job. Its such an inside job that it’s strange for me to think of it as a right. It can be interpreted as a human right. It is a human right. Although we also think that it is what sets us apart from other creatures, it may be what brings us into closer understanding of them rather than distancing them from us in a hierarchical fashion as has often been the distinction.
We know that the octopus and other animals may use ink as a defense mechanism or a way to express something. I was going to write that it might be a way to express an emotional state but it could be possible that the octopus, able to withstand the enormous pressure of the deeps, does not have the enormous array of emotions or the need to express an array of emotions. Perhaps all the output from an octopus’ ink is about more cerebral affairs than it is anything else.
There are bugs that work on tree limbs and leave hieroglyphics. They form their expressions by eating the soft wood once the bark is gone. They leave a path or channel that appears like a glyph. I am not a naturalist but if I were I might be drawn to use language other than this sort. I clearly wrestle with the issue of anthropomorphizing. Or maybe it is more certain that I don’t wrestle enough. In my own fashion I am not trying to ignore the world of science but to see what I see, hieroglyphics on branches as a form of writing. This should not be understood to mean that I suggest there is content or messaging or any sort of deliberate attempt at communication through these writings. It is what it is. Just as my journal writing might be. Please don’t ever find a journal, by anyone, and assume that to be writing that was meant for communication. It is communion if the writer was fortunate to have that relationship with themselves and the method of writing; but it is not meant, unless it is meant, as communication. So I see the writings of creatures in the world. Not as communion but as an act of something that left these marks.
I was told that it is a beetle leaving the hieroglyphics on the branches. These beetles do not go up and down in neat little rows as they eats their way through to the markings that appear like an ancient language. They do not do spirals or circles or any sort of recognizable alphabet. I do not see anything but very small segments of shapes that any random gnawing might produce. Their glyphs speak to me in the way that many things do which are not tied to specific meanings but could be called recognition, or beauty of just the old fashioned sort of being with speaking to that comes when we are quiet inside.
The same could be said about the path of the slugs on the flagstones. Or birds leaving tracks in the sand. It could all be writing. It so happens then that I live in a writing community. It is something I always wanted. Language or a communication or an act of leaving a mark takes physical form, just like the cat paws in the snow. I know that everything a cat does is deliberate. They might be journal writing or sharing their news or just making marks in the snow. As for cats, I would have sworn that Stoner was leaving messages with her nose prints on my windows. All of this could be an interior act pushed to the most convenient surface.
Whatever it might be that you need to write, for yourself or for sharing with others, I hope your find your medium and leave your message. If there’s no message and you are writing to commune with yourself, that is also good. It is the time and the focus that you take to do this which is the gift and the needed communication with yourself or with others. The act of changing your focus from one thing to another as many do today doesn’t generate the kind of compassion toward yourself that you might need from a quiet moment with your journal or another writing project. Peace of mind is also a human right and it goes nicely with writing.
Coda: Everything that’s interpreted is also everything that it is without the interpretation.