≡ Menu
The Runs header image

The Speak of Arting

Okay, so this is going to be super weird for most of you. SUPER weird. I grew up in a Pentecostal Christian environment and one of their many practices was the art of speaking in tongues. Well, I don’t know if it’s appropriate to call it art, but whatever. Speaking in tongues is what people do when they are speaking a spiritual language and although it sounds like a plausible human language, it is not understood by anyone else on earth–only by God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit.

Totally confusing, I know. Hang in here with me.

Pentecostal Christians use this particular spiritual gift to express themselves when no human language will suffice. They explain that sometimes their angst, their passion, their urgency within get so overwhelming to the point of overflowing that their earthly language transforms into a spiritual language to bridge the gap between the seen and the unseen.

Whew. That was tough to explain. How did I do? While I myself do not speak in tongues, I can certainly empathize with that overwhelming urgency to express what’s on my inside and lay it all out into the open. It all gets too much to feel and so by handing it over to Other brings me much relief. I do this by running, with writing, even by singing and painting. Art holds the space between the seen and the unseen. Without art, my burdens would be too heavy.

I can always sense when my insides are in turmoil. Well, I get stress diarrhea and hot farts–that’s a given. But I also can’t stop looking around for art. Art to take in, art to put out, art to hold me in the space between.

Music, running, hooping, dancing, painting, writing, reading, singing, laughing, speaking all of these things through my legs, my fingertips, my hips, my lips, my wiry hair, my far off stare, take me in, wring me out, leave me be or let me share.

What’s your art?


{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Helly on the Run March 16, 2017, 1:35 pm

    I do remember this from church and I always wondered what it felt like–I never spoke in tongues the time I spent going there.

    I think for me it’s learning. I love to learn and soak everything new, in–like if it’s fueling me (because it does). That’s why I love to read so much, I think. And talking to people.

    Can’t wait to talk to YOU!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 16, 2017, 4:55 pm

      I never thought of learning as an art. IT SO IS. I could be a lifer student. I love love love learning but only things I am emotionally invested in otherwise I retain a whole giant pile of nothing.

      • Helly on the Run March 21, 2017, 11:13 am

        EXACTLY. My husband actually said this the other day because I was upset at how much little money teaching brings. I told him I wish I was smart enough to be an engineer and he told me, “You could be. It just doesn’t interest you.”

        • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 21, 2017, 2:19 pm

          I kinda got goosebumps when I read this comment because I have a hunch that Ben is exactly right.

  • Megan @ Meg Go Run March 16, 2017, 4:30 pm

    That was actually the only time I ever heard someone explain the speaking in tongues thing! You explained it very well. You made me understand it but since my mind is just not wired to be religious like that, I will be honest, when I see people speaking it tongues it seems very weird, creepy, crazy to me. I am just being honest! I am glad they get to do that to express themselves, as it doesn’t hurt me any if they are speaking in tongues! But you get what I’m saying, to me it’s very weird.

    So you are making me reflect on things *some* other people think are weird that I don’t think are weird at all.

    Teaching is my art. Not music, but teaching. Because yes the music is important but to me being a good teacher is more important and will ensure that my students can enjoy and participate in music for the rest of their lives.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 16, 2017, 4:53 pm

      Anything we aren’t used to is weird. It feels weird. The unknown is uncomfortable and makes us feel undone.

      I love your last paragraph so incredibly much. There are so many teachers out there whose hearts are not in it. They can communicate, they can know things, they can pass it on to their students like a baton but knowledge without passion, without heart, it’s empty. OMG this reminds me of a Bible verse ha ha ha I’m so sorry. It’s in Corinthians: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal.” Any teacher can make a bunch of noise, but a great teacher will make music.

      Megan, we need to get paid for this shit. Seriously.

      • Megan @ Meg Go Run March 17, 2017, 2:43 am

        Teaching is so hard… In one day, I am at times a really good teacher and a really horrible teacher!

  • Allie Capo-Burdick March 17, 2017, 2:18 am

    This is timely for me and I totally get it as I grew up in a strict Roman Catholic house and went to catholic school for 12 years!!! Oy! My art is living like I was dying. This year I turn the age my mom was when she died of cancer so, instead of wallowing in self pity and having anxiety attacks, I decided to throw a huge ass party (for my 42nd birthday) and have everyone set an intention to live this year like it’s their last. It’s tomorrow and I cannot wait!!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 17, 2017, 8:11 am

      It’s tomorrow?!?! OMG! So exciting! Oh Allie, your enthusiasm and your intentional living is so inspiring and so contagious. I wish I could come to your party and help you celebrate! You are a magnificent person and your mom would be so fricking incredibly proud.

  • Susie @ Suzlyfe March 17, 2017, 3:47 am

    I feel like hula hooping is part of your arting 😀
    I’m going to have to think about my arting. Right now, I can only think about whether or not my boobs hurt (hoping that they do) and what every little thing means and what is going to happen on Sunday.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 17, 2017, 8:09 am

      I need to get back to hooping. It’s so therapeutic! You’re right! I’m pumped for you for Sunday. It’s going to be good news, I KNOW IT.

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes March 17, 2017, 11:37 am

    Language can be so limiting, can’t it? Some experiences are just ineffable. I love reading the medieval mystics because they have a way of expressing intense emotions with the most beautiful words. Last night we were reading St. Teresa of Avila and I thought of Bernini’s statue of her, where she’s just in total ecstasy because words failed her.
    I think my art is writing. Putting things into written words is far easier for me than expressing through spoken word.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 17, 2017, 8:32 pm

      Your writing is above most, that’s for sure. You’ve definitely got a gift, no doubt about it.

  • Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home March 18, 2017, 3:59 am

    I had to laugh when I read this. Whenever I ask parents in the clinic if their toddlers are talking, they answer “in their own language”. Then I have to rephrase the question! I guess it’s all how you look at it, right?

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 18, 2017, 11:54 am

      Oh!!! I never thought of that before! Perspective is everything, eh?

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets March 19, 2017, 7:47 am

    I think you explained it beautifully, although I am curios to know what’s a hot fart?

    My art used to be exercise and hopefully it will be one day again soon. It’s also writing, reading, puzzling, simply sitting or screwing around in my planner. It’s really anything that allows me to just be and breath without any constraints on me.

Leave a Comment