Sunday Morning Thoughts: 7.30.17

I heard someone once say that language is the greatest of all human invention. And though fond I am of sliced bread and pacemakers, me thinks there might be something to that. Because the question arises- would we even have bread, let alone the pre-sliced and packaged variety, if we never learned how communicate?

Which leaves the thought of open heart surgery as a statistically impossibility. By comparison.

But language and communication are not quite the same thing. For communication is much, much older than language. Before humanity even thought of choosing it as its major. But the difference resides in the specific organization. Communication is vague. Simple. Effective, often as all hell. Yet it lacks a finite elegance.

Language though, often has multiple words for the same thing. And that can be in just a singular mode, just one spoken and written language- never mind the thousands that have existed, living and dead. For language is a very human occurrence. Animals of all sorts of intelligence can almost always find some way to communicate, some far better than others. But a squawk can spell danger just as good as D-A-N-G-E-R. Maybe even faster. However, there is no bird call to inspire introspective quandary in others and guide them to finding an answer.

Humans do that shit all the time.

And it goes even further than the physical ‘in the moment’ sort of chatter among man and beast alike. Language has given us something that the rest of the living beings do not have. For we, my two-legged friends, have history. And a mild plethora at that. Both documented in some medium or passed along as a folk tale. Our memories go longer than our lives which certainly sounds impossible, or at the very least, highly improbable. Yet we do it and to the best of that general knowledge we’ve accumulated, we’re the only species that we’ve met that can do such a thing. Generation upon generation upon generation, all marked down somehow, somewhere, even if nothing more than a signature at Ellis Island. And now, the interwebs offers to sort it all out and figure out your lost ancestry for you.

Bananas, right?

Now don’t get this wrong. I am not the intellectual I pretend to be. For I am a man and instinct has not shaken from my sentience. And for all the love I have for words, eyes have been known to speak more clearly than any poet could ever try and drum up. And not just for the climax moment in some rom-com. Just ask anyone who has seen the eyes of the truly heartbroken. The desperate. The dead. They all say something, even if it is to say nothing at all.

But that trickster language finds a way. Through all our senses and all our experiences, our instinct for understanding has turned us to always wonder what the words are, or were, or might have been for any happenstance.

They get you in school with it. Who, what, when, where, why and how.

And what a wonderful thing that is to teach children! One of the most basic break downs for observation and you got it from English class. So, eat your heart out, Science.

And snuck right in that list six-word labeling list, lives the most troublesome and glorious question in all of language. The whole list is grand but five of them are the same points than need to be asked for the police report of a car crash. Important but intended for scene setting.

It is ‘why’ that writes the plot.

It is responsible for every story ever written or told. And yet its very existence perpetuates itself. Why, why, why? Could go on through the whole of time. And though many have come up with grand and expansive thoughts that can explain parts of this and that, the overall remains the same. You can always ask why. And the answer will never likely be satisfying, unless you’re willing to refuse thinking upon it. Or through confession. Bend the knee and say that you don’t know. And likely never will.

And that is just fine.

Not knowing is growing. Thinking you know is death.

Just look at children. Grown adults are supposed to know all these things, or so a kid is to believe. And that very same child is intended to know little or nothing. A head full of whys. So many that an adult age mind would go mad from it.

Yet most kids can go around with smiles and laughter over anything at all. Not bobbing about in cluelessness, only doped up heavy on observation. Look at this. What is that? Where are we going? Why is the sky blue? Why? Why?

They want to know and their predecessors have put themselves in the position of informational authority. I have done so, and likely do so, though I refrain as much can be afforded. For despite not necessarily yet believing it, I am an adult. Allegedly. All the adult things apply to my life, in some form or another.

Yet, my head still rattles around with all these whys. Was I supposed to know more by now?


If I was.


I only know so much. But. I will know more. I woke today with more than yesterday. I hope to do the same tomorrow.


If nothings else, it’s what I know to do.

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