WILLIAM SEGAL: It’s as if there is a center that can vivify all parts of the circumference–a center that illuminates. When we speak and listen from this center, a relationship is set up where words have more meaning. A hitherto unused energy is added. Most people speak, as the expression goes, from the top of their heads, so the words issue mechanically–dead words. A stop, a moment of pause, brings unsuspected energies. There is a change, the quality of energy that’s transferred is quite different. But that is not so easy. It’s easier to speak from our knowledge, from accumulated experience, from imitation of others.
PARABOLA: Is there a courageous stance towards the unknown that is required?
WILLIAM SEGAL: There’s a risk. At the beginning, when one speaks from this center, one feels awkward, as if one has lost the support of the known. To remain related to the unknown, at the same time keeping in touch with the knowledge that one has accumulated through experience and education, is not so easy. Still, if one lived more from one’s center, one would speak with more sincerity, would find unexpected resources within oneself. One might even open in oneself conduits of expression and of material which are pretty well closed in us. One would tap material which is now dormant. Combinations of impressions would come together to produce more original, more effective language.
from “In Light of Meaning: An Interview with William Segal,” (Parabola, Volume XX, No. 3, Fall 1995).