Once upon a sentence, in a paragraph far, far away, there lived a word. This word was odd compared to other words. Though it lived between the capital and the period, it did not fit. Try as it might, it didn’t get along with its neighbours. It didn’t abide by the rules. It upset the whole sense of the sentence it occupied.
News of the misfit word soon spread throughout the paragraph. Every other word was affected and offended by the rebellious sign that refused to point in the right direction.
“It’s spelling is weird,” said one word.
“It’s too many syllables,” said another.
“It’s pronunciation is too difficult,” added a cranky conjunction.
The word was all the other words could talk about. It attracted so much attention, that the rest of the paragraph was unreadable. The word refused to obey the logic of the topic sentence. It refused to transition. It made no sense.
But it did make a story.
The word that overthrew its sentence and toppled its paragraph created a text. The meaning of the text, like the meaning of the word, is a mystery.
It could mean nothing or it could mean everything. Our eyes can trip over it and our minds can fall through it, but each time they do they will emerge with a different question.
The question of sense.
The question of communication.
The question of the distance between words and the realities they represent.
Once upon that word we begin to shake free of literal interpretation. We loosen the grip of our logic and slide down into the spaces between the lines. We become adventurers in the liminal land of sense-making.
Lost in that world, we spend the rest of our lives chasing weird words that all look oddly alike. One sentence may give way to another, the paragraphs may pass, but the pursuit of language and its meaning will never cease.
The ridiculous, nonsensical word lives on, happily, ever…potatoes.
(I told you it didn’t play by the rules!)