Meaningless Language

So unsurprisingly for someone who writes a blog for fun; I adore language. Language to me is the measure of human achievement. I don’t mean disrespect to the visual arts but I have never had the same level of buy in with them personally as I have experienced with and through language.

Language to me serves as the means by which I can experience lives other than my own – and also allow others a window into mine.  This sharing of souls is central to my experience of art, love and life. I would be a radically different and arguable reduced human were the ability to engage in this conduct to be taken from me.

One of the highest pursuits within language for me has to be the trial of capturing the experience of love. For many people love is the highest of emotions and the motivating factor behind so much of their lives, myself included. Be it self love or external love – love is the driving force behind so much of my experience of life on a day to day basis.

One of the easiest way I learned to try and express my emotions to those around me was through song lyrics. For almost as long as songs have existed less gifted folk have borrowed them to express themselves better to those they care for, or seek to. As an aside my favourite way of thinking about this sentiment is actually in a  borrowed line from Motion City Soundtrack’sLGFUAD

 It’s the only way I have learned to express myself around other peoples’ descriptions of life.

But this is not a full proof method communication sometimes things are too deeply personal or complex to be phrased in another’s words.

I remember the first time I ever heard ‘All This and Heaven Too‘ – by Florence and the Machine. The beauty of it astonished me. It was as if someone had captured my exact thoughts on the difficulty of truly expressing one’s love and the elation of making progress toward it. One segment has always stuck in my mind:

No, words are a language
It doesn’t deserve such treatment
And all of my stumbling phrases never amounted to anything worth this feeling

Few who hear Florence sing would ever describe her lyrics as ‘stumbling phrases’ the beauty of her art is almost immediately apparent. It has always been this that resonated most strongly with me – the thought that even those whose words I borrow to express myself in lesser ways struggle with the enormity of love – struggle to truly capture the tenderness and care that passes in the quiet moments of the world.

I adore the concept that even those mighty muses of our modern world also feel that very same struggle as I – it is incredibly humanizing and empowering to realize that the language of emotion is entirely universal and humbles all members of the race in the exact same ways. It is one of the reasons I consider language to be the highest expression of humanity.

However you choose to express your love – whatever language or words you use, you will struggle. Embrace that struggle, it is what links you to the collective emotional existence of the race. it is this shared burden, this shared weakness that makes love such a beautiful, personal and unique thing to any number of people either alone or together. By embracing that reality and holding it tight to yourself, by understanding that even in the heights of language words have not yet been penned that can capture and bring into the R real space your love, your emotion you can find the freedom to try -the freedom to fail in the most charming of ways.

The important thing is that through the simple act of trying you will bring more love into the world – you might not capture the totality of your experiences with love every time you try to but each little excavation you make – each little piece of that love you do find the words for and bring into our shared reality makes our world a little better. So keep trying.


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