The Little Words

“…you know I never could say anything 20 words or less.” – Johnette Napolitano, “Little Conversations”
Concrete Blonde, Free

It’s nice to be doing a lot more writing than usual these days.

Recently, somehow the old business that had become the new business got old and became the new again. And now I find myself helping a new friend, through new friends, get his rock digital magazine into the stratosphere and it’s been greatly satisfying. Pay sucks, of course, but great benefits.

And of course, the writing. Everything’s worth the writing.

Last week, I was assigned to interview an internationally renowned rock guitar veteran whom I had never spoken to before and was very anxious to give the feature a respectable, artistically intimate angle. But, for that, I needed help because I know as much about guitar playing as I do fixing space shuttles. So, to add to my research, I had the wonderful fortune of speaking to an extremely gifted rising sun in the business whose dialogue turned out to be as much of an enriching experience as the interview itself.

It was like I was looking for the tools to dig for pearls and found a diamond in the process…

dance notation

This young guitarist has an almost Druidic approach to his music, which is to say that he enjoys and connects the process of his creativity in a multilateral sense, so he proved to be a perfect resource as it wasn’t a stretch for me to understand him. Our conversation reminded me how the arts are genuinely a selfish and spiritual experience, but the world tends to be blinded by product, which inevitably puts the artless in charge of the arts. All I wanted was to understand the psyche of the guitarist a little better before I approached this master and after what was only supposed to be a few minutes worth of exchange, we ended our hour or so with:

Me: Why do you love it so much? (I know that’s a big question – but, I couldn’t resist!)

“haha well BIG question — little answer. Because it has infinite possibilities”

Me: Hm. Actually, I’d say that’s a rather big answer, little words.

“Indeed I have found that sometimes the smallest answers mean the most.”

Big things come in little packages after all, maybe? Because after I had ended my session with him, I found myself flashing back to the time of – no, actually before — my apprenticeship when I was a just few years younger than he was and I remembered when I asked who the Goddess was. Now, today, there are books and books and discussion forums, groups, study courses, communities online and offline, and all kinds of tremendous information regarding the feminine personification of the creative force which could take years and degrees to sort through and comprehend, but the answer I received has always been the one I understood the most:


Yeah, that’s what I got. That is exactly how my priestess explained the Goddess to me. I must’ve had an expression that resembled something like smelling a garlic statue of a skunk. I thought she was rubbing crack on her skin instead of smoking it. But, she just stood there, serenely, confidently, and expectantly.

sacred-treeLooking into her wise, shining eyes, the look of an older soul at peace, talking about the thing she loved the most, I began to visualize the roots snaking and winding into the rich soil below, finding the water source as I saw my own feet touch the ground. I saw the sapling stretching after a long sleep in the seed as the child coming into the world, then the branching of leaves looking healthy when given all the nutrients they need, sickly when they didn’t. I saw the trunk expand and grow stronger, much like our own bones…The fruits, nuts, and flowers of our labors, all different, all for the world to see and share, while the rings of our experiences through the years remain preserved beneath the bark of our flesh.

tree-of-lifeSome branches break or die, but re-grow. Some branches are given or taken for others to use, some are given or taken for reasons unknown. Our strength is challenged through storms and children swinging. We witness life, death, fear, and joy all around us. Whether or not we are fertilized, we still produce seeds of our own making, our own little manifestations and they are scattered and spread even as we stand still.

The sun, moon, and stars are above us, the earth is below, the water is around us, the wind is through us, and the spirit within us. And we are immortal until a force beyond our control takes us down.

And I can go on.

This is what She stands for. This is the path I walk and how I understand. This is how I believe most non-humans understand. This is what I remember. Not the hundreds of stories and myths and legends and carvings and theories and textbooks and ancestry lines, but the simple parallel between two creations of nature. From this, I learned that there’s no reason to make things complicated.

If there’s a problem, find a solution.
If you have feelings, feel them
If you have thoughts, think them.
If you have questions, ask them.
If you have secrets, share them.
If you have words, speak them.
If you’re alone, reach out.
If you need space, step back.
If something harms you, let it go.
If something heals you, keep it safe.
If something loves you, give it love.

Harm none.

Everything we need is right where we stand. Don’t try to grow in stone.



Incidentally, the interview went really well. Of course, I’ll never fully understand the little sanctum the two and other 6-string artists share, but it was very cool being able to peek through the window from the garden outside for a moment, even just to get a glimpse of the light inside. And all it took was a little talk.

For every answer is another question. Enjoy the small answers. It’s a big life, after all.


About T. Ray

Writer, visual artist, student, musician, and "armchair nutritionist." She currently resides in Vegas with her jenday conure and two beloved rescue cockatoos. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi). While pursuing her degree in Journalism/Media Studies at UNLV, she continues to contend that all things come down to food and Star Wars. Contact:
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