Just a Word

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you might remember a few blog series I started to write then stalled out. Most notably, one on two kinds of love. As my way of seeing the world has shifted over the last half dozen or so years, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to articulate what I see. It’s almost like traveling to a different world that has a different language. Except it’s the same world seen differently, and I’m stuck using the old tongue. 

How do you write about a different kind of love when you’re stuck using the same word? As a writer, this problem has torn me apart. It turns out this is not a new problem, of course, just new to me. Poets Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich have made excellent attempts at solving it. The Dream of a Common Language is my new favorite bedtime reading. But—thank goodness—this is not a problem just one person can solve. Language is a communal construct and experience, after all. So, I’m going to try contributing in my own unique way.

Language has a lifetime of meaning and stories stored up behind every word, especially the important ones. Most particularly the ones with moral importance. So, I’ve decided to start writing word stories, putting new images into the storehouse of meaning behind words that are important to me. Some stories might be retellings of old stories. Some might be true-to-life. We’ll see where this takes me. This is as much for me as for anyone. Here are a few words currently on deck:

Abundance

Giving

Forgiveness

Joy

Gratitude

Have a word you want me to tackle? Leave a comment!

2 thoughts on “Just a Word”

  1. There’s this book called Lost in Translation andnit speaks of how the “weight” of a word is lost not only in translating from one language to another, but also how in the same language, the meaning of a word can be changed through time. I think this also happens at a personal level. As a teenager love was all about butterflies and giggles, now it’s about peace and acceptance. I don’t know…

    1. I’m going to have to check that book out. I definitely know what you mean. It’s why I studied so many languages in school–I got a taste for what it’s like to read something in its original language. Translation is tough, and I admire anyone who can do it well.

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