The word is weight.

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

The word is weight.   A set of symbols that are combined to make communication “easier.” Or harder. To help in the process of orienting oneself to the world. Or disorienting.  Their role in defining, in naming, in identifying, in labeling, in relating.

They carry meaning. Words are weighty things. The whole “sticks and stones make break my bones, but words will never hurt me” bit— I do not buy it.  Empires have risen and fallen on the utterance of words. Indeed the letter, the fragment of the word, when truly considered, is a wonder. The pen can cut. God swears by the pen in the Qur’an. Notice how I just referenced the pen, which is a reference to the act of writing which is a reference back to the word. Metonym. Words are elastic. Metaphor.

Words expand and contract. In these words, there is the history of Man. In Human.  In words there are journeys that transcend space and time. In words there are windows to beginnings, to middles. To ends and back to beginnings. A glimpse into the origin of meanings. A glimpse into where I come from. Where you come from. In words there is metamorphosis. How has meaning changed and how has it stayed the same? Words cover. They reveal. They provide information and obscure information. They are keys and they are locks. They include and they exclude. There are worlds embedded in words, spaces, surfaces, ideas, objects, embedded in words. There are words embedded in worlds, spaces, in surfaces, in ideas, in objects.

There is something funny in staring at a word, in recognizing all of its characters, knowing that it contains some answer, and not knowing! It is an enticement. Visual puns, double entendres. Words are layers.

The nature of the word and its relationship to its referent –how these things come to embody characteristics of one another and vice‐versa. The process of saying or writing a word is weight.

The act of naming, of labeling, of referencing‐‐ is transforming. If I gave you a piece of chocolate, and told you that it was feces while you were eating it, how would it alter the experience of that chocolate, even if it actually was chocolate? How would it actually change the sensation, the taste? Isn’t the opposite true?

We must be careful. The word is weight.

“Say: If all the sea were ink to write my Lord’s words (the acts, decrees, and manifestations of all His Names and Attributes), the sea would indeed be exhausted before my Lord’s words would be exhausted, even if We were to bring the like of it in addition to it.”-The Qur’an, 18: 109–The Cave.


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