introduction to werds


I am trying to be better about remembering to share more context, in general

So, in the context of this server

That means trying to get better about writing these introductory topics at the beginning

Instead of at the end

or halfway through


Which really means to get better about thinking about why I am doing things

At the time that I am doing them


I have been thinking quite a bit lately about the relativity of language

and how language is not always the same thing as communication


Or, rather

how we sometimes confuse the words themselves with the things that we’re trying to communicate


In college

I tried describing the thing I had in my head regarding words

As it feeling like we’re all wandering around with our own universes, in our heads

and we have similar landmarks in these universes


But when we talk to someone else, how we communicate –

it’s like trying to explain to someone how to find the location of their own landmark, in their own head, that correlates to the one in ours


using words


which became the Google Maps directions in this metaphor


Now, I feel like I would say that a little differently

In that those landmarks are non-rational


They are something like feelings


And words are just a part of what we use to try to share what we have in our own heads, with others

[non-verbal communication] and all that


But there is danger in overestimating the solidity of words, for lack of a better descriptor


I can tell three people that I climbed a tree today


And one might envision a redwood


One, a willow


And the third might be imagining me with my clothes off


We are human


and that means unpredictable


in one definition of that word


But, just as I have developed two things I might mean, generally, when I use the word ‘work’- 

one, the kind of work that is tedious, and unpleasant

and the other, the kind of work that is fun, meaningful and that I look forward to undertaking

And have sometimes begun distinguishing by using ‘work’ for one, and ‘werk,’ for the other


I think I might play around with attempting to do the same with ‘word’ and ‘werd’

werd meaning I am using a specific definition of a word, or concept – that may not necessarily be the generally assumed one


I believe that humans are predictable – in my usage of that werd


Because if I start from the assumption that I can never know what is in another person’s head

But that I can always work towards a more efficient level of communication between myself and others


Then, my prediction is that I will always be surprised, sometimes

And accurate enough, other times


And that leaves room for growth

That makes the complexity inherent within being human beings

No longer a scary thing, for me

But, instead

fun thing

an exciting thing!


If I don’t approach the world

with an attitude of

“This is how people are supposed to hear what I am saying”

Then I don’t tend to get offended if I, for example, think someone might be mentally undressing me, instead of listening


For one thing, that assumption on my part

might be wrong


And for another, me getting offended – at anything, I think – has never, in itself, really resulted in me acting in a way that is more likely to achieve the results I have been hoping for.


But asking people what is in their heads

when I speak

and telling them why I am asking

in a way that does not infer a feeling of judgment


That, I feel like

reaches people


Now, just because I believe that, does not mean that I am all that good at not making people feel like they are being judged

But because I have clarified that goal, that directive, if you will – within my mind

When I make mistakes

they are more like the werd mistake

instead of things resulting in the condition of being, permanently – a Mistake as a Person


I have realized over the past couple of days

That I am no longer striving for a state of settling

A state of being less wrong, as a human


If I am going to make goals for myself

Why handicap myself from the get-go by using such framing? By striving for things I still think of as, on some level – wrong?


An excerpt from Zen and the Brain, by James H. Austin, MD:

He notes that academic persons are driven by curiosity. They need to know about many things, to define them, and then to discriminate among them. In Zen, on the other hand, one simply accepts all things, taking a broad, compassionate interest in all of them. Be careful, he warns me. “Don’t be confused by abstractions or by the word definition of any object or person. This is like confusing one’s finger with the moon.”

I miss the meaning, and ask him to explain. Pointing off into the air with his right index finger, he says, “Each language has a word for moon, but the word is not the real moon. The word is like a finger; it only points in the direction of the real moon. You should not mistake the one for the other.”

True reality, he continues, is not in the word. It is in the very object itself. Our human mind creates big problems. It always tends to take mental snapshots of real objects. “Remember,” he says, “that all the words and all the concepts we invent are like snapshots. They are abstractions, not the real thing itself.”


I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

Leave a Reply