Wednesday, September 06, 2006

the boundaries of language I quietly curse

So much of the truth is lost and found in words. One of my earliest cases of hijacking science for the explanation of the unscientific arrived when I first studied aromatic compounds in chemistry. The details are probably unimportant to most. What matters is that the conventional methods of describing bonds did not suffice, could not adequately capture the aromatic nature of these compounds in a structural representation.

The solution was Resonance Theory. This was always an easy theory for me to grasp, since I had been plaguing my mother with this question since I was a kid. After reading my latest Amar Chitra Katha comic book about yet another Hindu deity, I would harass her to explain whether they were different or the same- were they individual gods, or one collective god? These questions always annoyed my mom, because she could not find the words to explain that it was neither and both. Different names for the same thing, but not quite. I got there on my own, after her answers only sent me back to my room, looking for some other explanation, in words.

In resonance theory, a compound is depicted in several different forms. But the truth of the compound is that it is none of those forms and all of those forms. If there were some way to take an average of all of those forms, that might be the closest to the truth of that compound.

That had to do with pictures and representations, but words are the same. I have made my peace with blogging lately. I am no prophet- and here's no great matter, I know. But I have also realized that, regardless of how busy I may be or how little there is to relate, still, there is something in these words.

Sometimes the truth does not exist until it is articulated into words. And sometimes it is not the truth, but writing it down makes you see which part is the truth and which part is a lie. And sometimes, it takes writing and writing, writing rambles and contradictions, and even then, you can't put your finger on it, but you're closer somehow to the truth.

And add to that your words. The point of your words is not to compliment me or puff me up, fluff me into thinking that my words are needed in any way. That is not to say they are not kind, because they are often more kind than I deserve. But your words- your words are an echo that bounce against mine. And in that way, your words prove that I exist, and that you exist.

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