“The Dream of a Common Language”

Adrienne Rich, one of my favorite poets, wrote an extraordinary collection of poetry several decades ago entitled The Dream of a Common Language. I was reminded of this beautiful title recently in a conversation with a colleague regarding his challenge with finding fresh, genuine language to articulate feelings, spirituality or identity. So many of our words and phrases have become trite or overexposed, such as "Thank you for sharing." 

Moreover, words to describe gender, culture, values and politics seem to be fraught with thorny difficulties and generational flinch responses. For example, homosexual or gay or queer? Black or African-American? Interfaith or multi-faith? God, Spirit, or Higher Power?

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What words or phrases do you use to describe your own authentic identity and experience? How have they changed for you?