Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Words, words, words

I'm not sick of words like Eliza Doolittle who seemed to be angry at Professor Higgins and Freddie Ainsford-Hill and their words, words, words. Words fascinate me. They always have. If only words had a physical form I would be in heaven and the most promiscuous of all females who ever walked the earth, falling all over myself to lavish my attentions on words, words, words.

Last night, as I was writing in my paper journal (there are just some things I can't write here because my butt has already spread to cover my ergonomically correct desk chair) and noticing I had very few pages left and no new journal in sight (and no spare funds to buy another) to fill with musings, meanderings, and incoherent thoughts in my own personal shorthand, I was struck by the word catholic. Catholic has come to mean the Roman Christian church that grew out of Paul's teachings and an inability by the Roman empire to stamp out Christianity, but it original mean broad sympathies, tastes, and interests. Catholicism, and indeed Christianity, grew out of those catholic tastes, the Roman ability to conquer and absorb all religions, cultures, and societies in much the same way Christianity (as it is practiced today) grew out of Constantine's pagan roots and background, and indeed Rome's pagan roots, roots that continued to grow and flourish in foreign soils. For years I have said that the Roman empire did not fall, but changed its focus from military might to religious might and continued right up to the present day, just as the Vatican continues to control a very healthy percentage of the world, New and Old.

So many words; so little time to learn and internalize them all.

On Merriam-Webster Online, which today gave me the joy of conquering the dictionary devil, the word of the day is causerie, which is an informal conversation or chat and/or a short informal essay, such as my ramblings on LJ. Causerie makes me think of causeway, a raised way to get across water or wet ground, a dry path, much like the paths that crisscross in my mind from thought to thought and synapse to synapse. So, a causerie is a mental or verbal causeway.

And then there is static. Static can be the crackling chaotic sounds of radio transmissions, snow on your television set, or that little electrical shock that zaps people when the air is dry and you drag your feet across the carpet and touch metal or another person. A jolt that flashes sparks and miniature fireworks that can jump start a heart or fry a hard drive or generally interfere with smooth electrical impulses. But static also means stationary, unchanging, without variance, such as a static astrological sign, a sign that shows little variance or change, stasis, frozen in time and space. One more word that has completely opposite meanings, but such is the wonder and magic of words and language and meanings.

Words have given me much over the years, but right now, besides giving me food for thought and essays and pleasure, words have built a causeway to my father and his mysterious past. His past is not mysterious in the sense of secrets, but in the sense of not knowing as much about him as I think I should. One of the most important people in my life and it has taken me nearly fifty years to find out the truth behind the hints and stories. I spoke to him earlier after my mother informed me he had just finished writing me another long letter. I can hardly wait to read his small narrow script, decipher his handwriting and learn a little more. I feel like a trail blazer, an adventurer pushing back the frontiers where be monsters. Like an uncharted territory, the mists are being burned off by the sun of interest. Okay, so a little flowery, but this is how I feel.

So many mysteries are mysterious because no one has ventured close enough to walked thru the obscuring mists into the strange lands and build the causeway and join in a causerie, braving the static shock of recognition to remain static long enough to find all people have catholic tastes in one way or another.

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