There are nouns one might hear as verbs rather. Living processes we make things of. Reify. Not that there’s anything wrong with things. Some of my best friends are things. But things are just actions sitting still a moment.
Life as a verb. Okay.
Death as a verb. Oh shit.
Self as a verb. Oh my.
Peace as a verb. “There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”
Blog as a verb. Oh get over it.
Ernest Fenollosa, in The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry:
A true noun, an isolated thing, does not exist in nature. Things are only the terminal points, or rather the meeting points of actions, cross-sections cut through actions, snap-shots. Neither can a pure verb, an abstract motion, be possible in nature.
Is nature a noun or a verb. Yes.
But we of the West weight the noun. BEING, eternal forms, ειδοσ, Plato, that crapola, so to recover the living act, transmutation, you and me in flux, Heraclitean, who knows what comes in the next instant – terrifying, marvellous, necessary –
Let’s get it edgier. Benjamin Lee Whorf, in Language, Thought, and Reality, with some composting.
[A member of the Hopi nation] has no general notion or intuition of TIME as a smooth flowing continuum in which everything in the universe proceeds at an equal rate, out of a future, through a present, into a past. At the same time, the Hopi language is capable of accounting for and describing correctly all observable phenomena of the universe.
The Hopi metaphysics has its cosmic forms comparable to those of the West, past, present, and future, in scale and scope. It imposes on the universe two grand cosmic forms, which we may call MANIFESTED and MANIFESTING (or, UNMANIFEST) or, again, OBJECTIVE and SUBJECTIVE.
The objective or manifested comprises all that is or has been accessible to the senses, the historical physical universe, in fact, with no attempt to distinguish between present and past, but excluding everything that we call future. The subjective or manifesting comprises all that we call future, BUT NOT MERELY THIS; it includes equally and indistinguishably all that we call mental – everything that appears or exists in the mind, or, as the Hopi would prefer to say, in the HEART, no only the heart of man, but the heart of animals, plants, and things, and behind and within all the forms and appearances of nature in the heart of nature.
Don’t know how good this is as anthropology. Could be Whorf’s wet dream of an escape from Plato’s noun. Or a projection of Heidegger onto decimated tribes. But there is at least dimly an intuition of alterity in it, salutary.