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Lonnie Hicks

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A Word
By Lonnie Hicks
Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010
Last edited: Monday, March 28, 2011
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Lonnie Hicks
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           >> View all 439
So, what is a word anyway?

If I make a word
it is first sculpted from letters
on the page,
a canvass across which
letters skate
from margin to margin transforming
into meaning and sentence
which give us art, science, poetry
and civilization.

This is created from an arbitrary entity,
the scratchings we call letters
which in turn form yet another
mysterious entity we call the alphabet.

What manner of miracle is this?
All of civilization is born from
these scribbly scratchings?

So if each letter is an imaginary entity,
an arbitrary symbol we made up
which has no meaning by itself
and lives inside another arbitrary entity
we call the alphabet
what we may properly ask
is going on here?

Meaning here is deriving from an arbitrary nothingness
arbitrarily created from arbitrary letters
by virtue of common agreement around
what words will mean?

Ponder this:
we too, as individuals are letter unique
and, in our variety, form a kind of human alphabet.

What we all mean and can mean to each other
therefore depends upon the words we form
in our families and communities; our human alphabets.

So, one word letters such as 'I' are too self-regarding
and are narcissistic anomalies
not true words at all.

Better words have more syllables than that
and have enabled us to form social sentences
more complex
which we can use for good or ill
peace or war, love or hate.

So watch your words and sentences
don't swing them recklessly in a crowded room
you'll put somebody's mind out
or create genius.

Big responsibility this
especially for us poets.

So in the end
in mass society
you and I are a single letter
but combined create all there is.

You can take that
as the first
and last
and by the way
arbitrary letters
are electrons at the sub-atomic level
and they combine to make molecules
and ultimately the greatest meaning of all:
The Universe.


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