what happened/word foundations

March 5, 2009

What happened is something like this:

There are levels of language and meaning and the lowest, earliest level is not occupied by words but rather by feelings — body-emotion deep memories that are not memories of something one observed, but rather impressions that were literally pressed into one’s being, one’s body-mind, fear, wamth, satisfaction, fullness, emptiness, groupness, loneness. Things that happened to us before we had the tools of word language. These traces, these impressions, these trackings of feeling become the actual foundation elements of language. This is what words are based on. And as with so many things, the created thing tends to reject, ignore, or at least forget its creator. Words as words pretend to a kind of completion, to self-referenced and circular definitions. Yet their roots are in us, not in each other.

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