Saturday, January 11, 2014

About the meaning of words


I wish I could talk to you and correct the misunderstanding. I do not dare. All words in our language are like boxes full of many possible meanings and because of that open to many interpretations. 

Words are a very dangerous stuff. I learned that with you recently.

Since what I have to say is clear, my words should say clearly what I think. Hélas, I am unable to exclude from the meaning of each of my words all the other possible meanings mingling in the same box and attached to that word.

How could you, the situation being what it is, detect the unique and exclusive meaning of each of my words and interpret what I say without allowing a word wrongly interpreted to pollute and destroy everything?

You will always have an excuse for misinterpreting what I say. You are bright and you are an astonishing human being, I have no doubts about that. But you don’t know me.

I have to admit that I don't know you either. Did I also misinterpret your words and your behavior? I have been thinking about that and I think I did.

Language is far from being a flawless tool. Besides, to interpret a person's behavior is not without risk. Fearing the consequences I remain silent and I have been avoiding you.

We could, little by little, peacefully, talking to each other, start to establish without ambiguity what the words mean for you and what the words mean for me. Then we would be able to avoid pain, misunderstanding, and stress. After all, don't we share some good common interests? And life is short, one day I will die and later on you will die too. But to keep talking we would need a sincere mutual interest in each other, time and persistence. In what regards the interest or curiosity that we may have in knowing each other I can only talk for myself, not for you. And time and persistence, unfortunately, is what we seem to lack more at this point. I will post this brief letter to you tomorrow when I go the bookstore to buy a novel by Knut Hamsun that I forgot on the plain when I returned from Europe. And I stop talking. You take care of yourself, sweet girl.

J. E. Soice

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