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In praise of the written word

A word, said, is like the air that carries it... there, but ever changing. You know it is there, but 'which' air? May be it was made of something else the moment it was said. But now the memory has mutated the word with memories and assumption. It dissolves into maybes and blank spaces.
What were you saying? Sorry the word didn't reach my cognition. Maybe it crashed against my ear and fell down. Let me look for it, while you go on with utterly temporary utterances that die right after they are born.

Without a keen ear, a spoken word is a still born child.
Keen ears and intelligence are the oxygen for meaning making with words.
Unless one writes them down. 
A spoken word is seldom alone. It carries with it movements, loudness, intonation. They are made of worldviews and emotions... exceptionally unique worldviews and emotions. exceptionally untranslatable unique worldviews and emotions.
The rational word is but a small actor in the grand theater of emotions and utopias.The uniqueness of theater gives a false sense of completeness of thought. "They don't understand me." The ego protects the worldview by hiding inconsistencies in the thought behind the spoken 'word'.

There is only one way of  finding out the inconsistencies - write it down.

A word, written, is as firm and permanent as the medium in which it is written. For the here and now, when the context doesn't change all that much, a written word remains where it was supposed to be. Preceded by and followed with other words, the written word is a prisoner of linear meaning that has been made. If a common language is understood commonly (and that is one big IF), it is even possible to say and convey and be understood in exactly the manner one intends to.

A written word helps not only in conveying a meaning, but also in arriving at one.
We humans are still quite primitive. Still grappling with meaning about self and about other things. We wonder and we ponder. Our wondering and pondering remain enigmatic questions. We get comfortable with the vagueness of enigmas. We return to these enigmas like one returns to bed, instead of operating on these enigmas with sharp curiosity.
Enigmas remain enigmas as long as we do not nail them down with written words.

More urgently, as an advertising person, i see the relevance of written word even more glaringly. I see people filling up with optimism with ideas and words spoken among people who can imagine things. the imagination supplements, bolsters, buoys up the unformed ideas with optimism and assumptions.
And then things come crashing down with bitter disappointment when inconsistencies become apparent. If only one wrote down what one thought and one thought through what was written.

I have gotten into a new habit at work, that i think is a good habit. putting thoughts into a mail or a document right after a meeting/ briefing. Committing thought to written words before springing ideas to a gathering of people.


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Withdrawal symptoms

Scroll Scroll Scoll..
Catch yourself slipping away.

Deep  breath. 

Close the browser. silence the mobile and turn it away.

Open an offline-real-paper diary. Stop your thighs from lolling impatiently. Stay still. 

Pick up a pen awkwardly. ahh, the fingers are stiff. It will take a  while for them to get used to holding a pen. Quick finger exercise - open the palm, stretch finger outwards, close into a fist, dig the fingers in. Repeat.
Ok now.. about to pick up the pen again, but eyes dart towards the screen. Tempted to check email.

Shut up. The last consequential email came two months ago. Nothing of consequence is online.

Pick up the pen. Don't fetishize the object now. Get on with it. Put it on paper, write a word and start it already. If I get to a sentence, perhaps I will get into a flow and won't have to look up from the paper at all. 

One sentence later.

Ahh. That was good. I am feeling good about myself. The sentence makes sense. …