I think I read somewhere about a language that had no nouns. I’m not sure about this; I have a feltboard for a mind. Everything sticks to it. Dust, dead moths, bits of information eroded by time and memory into something quite other than what they once were. But whether there was such a language or not, I’m enchanted by the idea. I point and say “Look, it’s dogging.” Whatever ‘it’ is, at this moment it’s manifesting itself in wagging, barking, running, chasing. There’s no dog at all. We just use language to capture a moment in time and perception, and to convey it to someone else.
There’s always, in human beings, this ache and longing to encapsulate, to put experience into containers, and given the complex requirements of the socio-economic-political construction we have to live in, it’s probably necessary. But it’s maybe wise to keep in mind that all those nouns are the possession not of our experience, but of the thing we live in, the great reef in which we are all polyps. We can go at least that far, and render unto Caesar those things which belong to him, in this case all the nouns. They’re all just the stamped currency of our culture.
I’ve come to this point through struggling to find my way in a community of believing Christians. As a verb love is dynamic. It won’t be held in containers. We make verbs into nouns and adjectives and suppose that because there’s a word, there must be a thing it stands for. It’s a weaelly way to turn fire to metal, to currency.
If God is, He is prior to our naming Him. If I had it to do myself, I’d make God (the word, not God) into a verb rather than a noun. The whole crazy immeasurable big bang of love and power all of it is the fire of Him loving. Nothing is still. It’s all an ongoing explosion, nuclear spin, the blas furnace of a star, there’s no still point, no true function for a noun.
Jesus said “Love God and love each other; let everything else take care of itself.” The truth of this is a little frightening. Love is a fire. God’s love is a fire. Everything gets burned up in it. At best all the nouns are only directional markers, pointing to the Fire of God.