Saturday, February 23, 2013

The paradox of words

My brain is getting re-wired from Finnish into English -and the process has made me both scared and delighted.

Is it jeopardizing my scale of nuances and thus my personality, the power of my own vocabulary, my own language -taking me further away from myself? Is it turning my expressions into common ground gibbedish, idle and vain, full of banal fluff? Is it making me use phrases repeated too many times by too many mouths with too little thinking?

Or is it expanding my brain, giving me not only a new set of concepts to think with, but a whole new way of organizing my thoughts, a whole new mentality, a whole new structure to play around with, to break down, to scrutinize and then to re-construct with? A whole new world to add, spice and flavor the thinking patterns I already know so well I can't see them clearly? Creating new pathways throughout my brain, building up a parallel reality?

It feels like a big paradox. We humans make ourselves to believe we communicate with words, that language is our primary channel to reach both ourselves and others. But the same way there is always the problem of translation between languages, the same barriers seem to stand between emotions and words, sounds and words, smells and words, even sight and words. Even how carefully I would aim to describe you now what I can see from my window, transliterate the sounds around me, express the feelings within and point out the smells in the air, you would merely be able, at its best, to imagine how it is. We always loose something with words and we always interpret words from our own perspectives -every time we use language, we are dealing with a great degree of misunderstanding. Just think how well you could spell out the singing of the birds. Exactly, you cannot. Do we humans also turn the real thing into ''tsirp tsirp''?

Words make the rest into an secondary experience, into an account, a story. Yet we like to cling to what we say and hear, taking words as tangible presentations of reality. But our words always fail us to a degree we often cannot even distinguish. Most of the time we probably lie unintentionally, starting with ourselves, with the phrases we run through our head because we are used to them. We seem to be programmed in a way that repeating any set of concepts, words, dogma, phrasing or ideology makes it feel more plausible, more real than the nature of things can actually ever be. We like to think that the constant never-ending flux of the world ends, when we phrase it and limit it between a capital letter and a full stop.

Don't believe everything you think, don't try spell out everything you believe. Try not to think for change. Does that make the world feel different? Do we have to be able to pronounce everything out, or is the seed of everything in the silence between the sounds? Is the core of our essence after all silent? Do we actually exist more, when we leave out the words drawing our attention away from the actual being?

Who are we without words -and how do we get there?


  1. Kun olen niin surkea englannissa, en jaksa lukea tekstiä (sitähän mun juuri pitäisi tehdä, eikä aina vältellä!), mutta että on ihana tuo alin kuva ja itse koira myös!

    1. Kiitos kaunis Liivia, ilahduin :-) tämä koira on oikea lempeä jätti, mahtitapaus.

  2. Onnellinen koira autuaassa unessa. Mitkä anturat kävellä. Vaaleutta ja heleyttä kuvissasi, kaunista. -Anne

    1. Onnellinen koira tosiaan :-) valolla tuntui olevan oma kulmansa tuona päivänä.