Not necessarily the best boundary.
Put the point of the pen against the paper and draw shapes. Squiggly shapes, from left to right (not everyone does it this way). Lift your pen every now and then, creating a mini space between squiggles. That’s all that writing is. That’s all.
The entire rest of the world of it is the meaning we make of it.
“Four score and seven years ago…” “To be or not to be…” “In the beginning, there was light…” “They took all the trees, put ’em in a tree museum…” “Hey Jude…” “Imagine there’s no countries…”
All just squiggles on paper that spelled out what we decided were words. We decided. It’s not like the Language God descended from on high, landing in the parking lot at Lowes, and said to us, “Behold, I give unto you: LANGUAGE, which shall be constructed of thoughts conveyed in an organized manner, paragraphs building on one another to support a point, an idea.
Sentences making up the paragraphs. Words, the building blocks of sentences. Letters comprising words. Shapes comprising letters. Curves and straight lines and dots comprising the shapes.”
God didn’t give us language any more than God gave us the right to own land, or to own each other, or the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What God gave us, if there is a God, is the unfathomable mystery of how the body works, how animals interact, how trees grow, how all the elements cooperate to produce food and flowers and plants and poisons.
But rights? Language? Countries? We decided. WE decided, “This is mine and you can’t have it.”
As newborns, everything was ours. Everything was for all of us. But we grew up, most of us, into fear and greed. And we couldn’t see past the possible running out of stuff or territory, so we drew lines in the sand. That was the first shape, the first word that made language necessary, that made war inevitable. The word mine.
Mine, not yours. By divine decree. Wanna fight about it? The Crusades The French Revolution The American Civil War World War I World War II Korea Vietnam Putin and the Ukraine
Language. Boundaries. Shapes, Lines. Fences. Words. It’s not like we could stop now.
But being aware (when we say the word “mine”) of how it feels in our mouths, the word “mine” — feeling the not yours of it — being awake, every time we draw the line that puts anyone else on the other side of it — being awake to how much my life never has been, and never will be, really mine — by itself — without the billions of causes and conditions that made me me…
All of that at least walks in the direction of, acknowledges, thinks about, bows to