Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Feeling Is Mutable

You are in the midst of random, unstructured thinking, a series of brief tropes without any particular volition or goal when a word bobs up from below the surface, jarring you suddenly as it bears the gift of an emotion you know is associated with the word. Neither the word nor the emotion are expected, arriving unsought, unannounced. For the next several moments, you attempt to describe to yourself the dimensions and texture of the emotion, encountering the major barrier a writer encounters.

It is one thing to feel an emotion, another to describe it to yourself, another still to describe it to others, particularly others you may never meet in person. We'll call those individuals readers.

Firstly for ourselves and then for these individuals we call readers, we attempt to translate feelings into some kind of logical pathway, a pathway that leads the reader somewhere tangible, even if there is inconclusivity in that tangibility.

Language evolved in order to help humans pass along secrets of survival within a particular culture. But the speakers couldn't help themselves, they transfused the information with attitudes, edges, raw and subtle feelings, strata of implications that reflect the social/pack nature of mankind as a species.

Straightforward facts and formulae are unvarnished but it is possible to see and hear the poetry in their construction. Darwin had it right by having a garden which he structured for his personal sense of aesthetics as well as for a laboratory in which to continue his observation about how the inhabitants of the universe behaved.

Storytellers have learned over the years to infuse their information and observation with feelings.

Damned straight words contain feelings along with the descriptions and names of things. Information with feeling may be likened to propaganda but it may also be related to story. Propaganda puts us off; story puts us in.


R.L. Bourges said...

verily et en effet - see here for the story about the True Sound of Truth

Lori Witzel said...

True dat.

Golem had Truth (אמת) written on its forehead to enliven...and when the sage erased the Aleph, the suffusing outward breath every storyteller needs, what was left was Met (מת) or Dead, deactivated.