Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Apples are red?

It is rather sad that I always have to borrow things in order to express myself.

I didn't invent words in the first place.
I say, "apples are red." But was I the first person to call the sweet, rounded fruit "an apple"? Was I the first person to name the colour of the apple's skin "red"?  No. I'm only following in someone's footsteps in saying "apples are red." I can only experience the "apple" and the "redness" in an indirect manner. Because how else can I express "the apple" or "red"?
With the apple, I can say, like I did just now, it's a "sweet, rounded fruit," but none of these words - "sweet," "rounded" or "fruit" - belong to me.

Do words only serve to create an alienation between the real world and me?

Certainly, I feel different when I'm using English from when I'm using Japanese or Chinese. 
Of course that's because each of these languages requires me to operate in a unique, distinctive cultural context. Even when I met a Japanese person in England, I wished to communicate in English with him/her, because I was loath to switch from my English persona to my Japanese persona. 

-----------------------------

I wear clothes that someone else created, I eat cuisines that someone else invented, and someone else teaches that to be a proper woman/adult I have to conform to certain social/cultural codes.
Sometimes I'm lost in a sea of signs, symbols and images, and my whole life seems like a borrowed life, and nothing in it is ever genuine or can be called "mine."

But I cannot denounce the whole world and go into the mountains to lead a life of a hermit.
If I wish to continue living among people and continue relating to the world, must I lead a life of collage? Must I keep using borrowed words, wear borrowed clothes, imitate the burrowed images of a proper adult?  If I go into the desert and spend 40 days there, will I be able to get back my genuine self? I don't think so. When the 40 days are over, I will have to go back to the world, and it will be the same all over again.

4 comments:

  1. This makes my heart ache; the impossibility of being unique in an already discovered existence is so insurmountable that it crushes the very flame of life within.

    It is only sad that you feel that your expressions are not your own due to utilizing preexisting words. Everything you touch leaves an imprint that is uniquely you. The way you interpret, process and present information is based on the multitude of traits and influences you have experienced throughout your life and cannot be replicated.

    Think about it this way, if you eat an apple and describe it, you will have been the only one to have ever experienced that apple and told its story. The problem is that it is so infinitely difficult to express the rarity of this event with the limitations of expression.

    I agree that words may serve to set us apart from each other and it gets worse as technology widens the gap. I often wonder what it would be like to just "be" rather than speak of how something "is", to sit down in front of someone and share something with them knowing that the moment is to be cherished because it will be gone before long and unique to only two. I'm sure a similar moment could occur, but it could never be the exact same; with the feelings, the thoughts and the connections that were created.

    I don't often speak as If the words or thoughts were my own, so I will do so below:

    I often feel that words are not good enough. This leads me to thinking why bother telling people something they have probably already heard. In the end I stop talking all together and figure there is no point in sharing anything I experience. I am however ashamed. I wish I were more like you and made it a point to express myself. I feel like I just allow myself to rot away, alone on the inside and can never gain from external input due to a lack of expressing myself. I lost faith in others ability and willingness to have and hold deep conversation. I have become socially awkward and have damaged my ability to empathize with others in a personal setting. I have done something foolish and set myself apart from others through my own arrogance.

    The worst prison is the one we create for ourselves inside of our own heads because we hold the locks, keys and are the harshest wardens. So don't lock yourself up or fall into despair. You are unique and I am inspired by what you express. I want you to know that the thoughts you express would not carry the same weight or meaning if I found them anywhere else, presented by anyone else.

    Never lose hope and always move forward down your path,


    CRRobbins

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear CRRobbins,

      I'm so extremely sorry about my VERY late reply.

      When I read your comment I felt very happy and encouraged by your words.

      "The way you interpret, process and present information is based on the multitude of traits and influences you have experienced throughout your life and cannot be replicated."

      - True! I still have freedom of interpretation!
      It's like you have a set of coloured pencils and what you draw with them is entirely up to you, and the resulting picture will be unique, although you used pre-existing tools to draw it.

      "I often feel that words are not good enough. This leads me to thinking why bother telling people something they have probably already heard. In the end I stop talking all together and figure there is no point in sharing anything I experience."

      - I can relate to what you are saying.
      But you're expressing yourself there, very clearly to me, and I feel connected to you.

      "I lost faith in others ability and willingness to have and hold deep conversation. I have become socially awkward and have damaged my ability to empathize with others in a personal setting. I have done something foolish and set myself apart from others through my own arrogance."

      - I can be quite awkward in social situations too so I sympathize.
      I have been arrogant too before and I'm glad of that experience.

      We really need to experience a wide range of emotions, and to assume different characters, in order to understand what it really means to be a human.

      "You are unique and I am inspired by what you express."

      - The same goes for you. I feel inspired by your words and I appreciate your kindness in leaving such a wonderful message.

      Delete
    2. I just published the previous message without finishing it. :)

      I really wish I could make you happy, just as you made me happy.

      Thank you very much.


      Love, Saya

      Delete
    3. It gives me the greatest joy to be able to exchange such important thoughts and ideas! I feel that as a person by doing so, I can grow and learn much.

      I would never want you to feel rushed in responding due to how busy life can be, so please do not worry about such a thing :) I am very patient and would never bear ill will towards you for any amount of time you needed to respond.

      To be able to provide you with support and bring you happiness is more than enough to make me happy!


      With the sincerest gratitude,

      CRRobbins

      Delete