I’ve always had the mightiest of respect for someone’s words. They are but a way of communicating an idea in our minds when in reality there is no true way to articulate our imaginings. Words allow us to do it in a way that is universal, but with inflection and intonation, with emotion and passion.
Imagine a tree. Close your eyes and just think of a tree. What does that word, tree, mean to you?
I see the word, tree. I see it transform into the form of the tree I draw when asked to draw a tree. It has green leaves, a brown trunk and a single, red apple. The leaves are indeterminable, they are simply one mass of green. It appears to be coloured rather sketchily, like a child with a crayon. That is a tree in my mind.
I’m sure what you’ve imagined is completely different to what I see in my head. The word tree is but the placeholder for an idea, it retains an image and description of something we all are aware of, but we store a concept that is unique to ourselves. Language allows us to convey that idea as best we can, and it make sense to others, but still it’s not a perfect translation.
This is how I feel right now. I’ve had words said to me which still don’t quite transmit the idea of the mind they came from. They never will, either. I’m currently trapped in a tank of liquid disappointment that transforms to a solid, inescapable mass of denial when I try to force my way out. A non-Newtonian heartache, if you will.
I’m trying to convince myself it’s worth it, though. Of course it is. You can’t get anywhere without taking a risk, right? Putting yourself out there, vital organs on the line? I’m certain of it. I’m a rational man, a man of science and experimentation, of repetition and repeatability. My head is telling me to understand the words of which keep swirling around my mind at their most literal sense. To take them as gospel, for the meaning I know they try to reflect.
Another side of me, however, is saying no to that idea. It’s saying why? Why do I have to just accept someone’s words and their implied meaning? If time is but the only factor, why can I not remain true to myself and enjoy what I can as I want and live with the consequences of that?
As someone dear to me has said, we have to be happy for ourselves, not for others. We are here for us, and we cannot be truly happy if we do not follow what we want.
I’m undecided as to what part of me to follow. I am split, almost right down the very middle. Time is a healer, as well as a destroyer. It gives, and it takes away. It speeds up, it slows down. It’s constantly flowing. So tell me this, please.
Happiness. What is that, to you?
Close your eyes.
Sam Smith, “Like I Can”.
– He knows why, on this one.