Language & Life 2

84. It is through physical dangers and risks and challenges that he learns where the most important words come from, and how to use them. He uproots the entire world and begins again with the simplest things. He learns to make fire with the bow and drill. He lays his own cordage from the field grasses and fashions containers from the fallen oak. He sets traps for the ground animals and fishes from the lake. And the simplest words begin to take meaning for him.

85. Strangely, men who have seen and done much are often silent. That words used by other, lesser men could also describe what they have seen is an insult to their experiences and what they have become. The men most capable of speaking are instead silent.

89. Language allows men to seemingly become more than what they are. It is a cheap trick the poets have long performed upon the masses. But there is no great becoming through language itself. One does not achieve greatness in words alone. Verily, the words of the greatest men come later, or not at all.

93. “When he finally learned to use the most important words he fell silent and refused to speak.”

1 comment:

  1. Yes. If a language and a tendency to converse is generated by sitters, but those who have bathed in this recent 100 years of money printing, a man who has risked, suffered, and has gone beyond his culture may well no longer be able to 'speak the language,' or, if he is able to do so, it will be with great pain.

    The simple journals of Proenneke. But you are speaking of something far different here though. There may be no language, not enough time for any language to have form, not enough peers for which such a man could speak. Not enough civilization.


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