The end of words: a brief rant on the etymology of the word DEFINE

We spend a lot of time as project managers defining things. We define things so we can put up borders, confine. Define comes from the Old French, to bound, limit, finish.

As a writer, I try to use the least amount of words (and the right combination of words) to convey meaning. The words are limited and so is the meaning. Once it leaves your lips and takes to the wind, it’s no longer yours. You’ve scattered the sky with blooms.

For me, it’s more interesting to read a description of a tree than to see a picture of one. While a picture may say a thousand words, you can create a picture using far less.

There’s a place we like to go on the Washington coast where a huge log jam has washed ashore. It’s a graveyard of driftwood with implied rooms created by logs interlocked at random. It’s the suggestion of a reality that resembles our own that makes art, that lifts us up through its own flaws and recklessness.

Spend less time defining and don’t let the words get in the way. They are some times weapons, most time wishes.

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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