Tuesday, May 19, 2015


"Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon the absolute truth."  ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Words, we all use them.  Words, they help communicate our needs, desires, pleasure, disdain.  I’m using them right now to communicate with you, Dear Reader.  One of the greatest events I witnessed was my grandsons learning language through sign language before they could talk.  They were communicating with words before most children do much more than cry, point and try their darnedest to make their wants known.  If these two toddlers wanted something to eat or drink, they told me with words.  Exciting!

Sometimes our words run all over each other and at other
times we cannot find the words to express what we feel, need to communicate.  Relationships grow and change and fall apart (not necessarily in that order) through words as well as actions.  Some of us use a language with a set alphabet that is put together in ways to make words which we, who speak that language, understand.  One of the first pieces of knowledge I gained when I traveled to China was that with the Asian languages where a symbol represents a whole word, most people never learn all the symbols for their language.

So what do we do with our language made up with words?  One thing we can do is tell stories.  We can pass down family stories so that future generations know why Uncle Oscar wouldn't speak to his sister and she wouldn't speak to him for the rest of their lives.  How did our parents and grandparents meet and fall in love, or did they fall in love?  How did we come to be?

The folktales and fairy tales which are a large piece of our collective heritage are fun to learn and tell and retell and change a bit and retell again.  I learned how to do this at a young age.  Mom read many folktales and fairy tales to my sisters and me.  I retold them as best I remembered, while sitting in the rock garden, to my imaginary brother who never seemed to be around for Mom’s reading.  It was fun.  I corrected what I’d forgotten with the subsequent readings of the same tales.

Have I told you the absolute truth with my words? No, I have only told you my truth.

What do you use your words for? 

(Come back for the next installment which will include a story or two.)

If you found this post interesting or useful, please let me know by leaving a comment.  Your words will let me know that I am not just blowing hot air into the atmosphere.  Thanks.

Julie Moss © 2015

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