The limitation of words
Today, in rehearsal, we were prompted to create personal narratives in fit the choreography of Daydreams. We’ve embodied the initial steps, but the movement remains lifeless. Stale. So each of us grabbed a journal, embraced the floor with a pose of constructive rest, and closed our eyes, imagining scattered moments within our lives of loneliness and infatuation. The darkness of our eyelids provided a blank canvas to visualize something concrete/lived, an attempt at uncovering the aspired abstract feeling through genuine experience.
Here is the exact list that manifested on my white page after 20 minutes of visualizing:
trapped, misunderstood, unsure, not ready, ill-prepared, anger, swallowed, lacking control, parking garage, hugs, smell of cigarettes, chatter of people talking, warmth, sunshine
misunderstood, undervalued, confused, comfortable, lost, desire, want, look, warmth, eyes-brown, smile, magnetic, distant, unsure, questions
The similarities between the lists are quite shocking. I’m sure there is a study to be done researching the parallels of an emotional response to isolation and an intense passion for companionship…maybe another day.
However, the list does reveal something within the realm of my personal research: the limitations of words.
The same word can mean two very different things when employed in disparate contexts. Words radiate a cloud of differing associations or elicit divergent responses when immersed in a particular landscape.
Words are malleable. As human beings, we bring personal experience and connotation to words that others may not. So the same word possesses, at any given time, a multiplicity of definitions.
Thus, words are dependent. And restrictive. And yet, they appear the most rational means of communication practiced.
But I wonder, how can we ever fully communicate what we actually mean when the definition of a word respectively changes by its proximity to other words or umbrella classification?
Maybe the body provides a clearer definition? A clearer communication? One that we read from an intrinsically biological place as opposed to one of a socialized normative.