For *those that have just lost their keys *those that are well-versed *inebriated ones *wanderers *mermaids *those that belong elsewhere *whippersnappers *marvelous ones *those that are not included in this classification *those that flutter because the moment is fleeting *boundless ones *those colored with slippery fingerpaint *others *those that resemble someone I know from a distance

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What I think about at coffee shops instead of doing whatever it was that I went to the coffee shop to do.

Warning - I am a dork when it comes to language and embodiment. Read on at your own risk.

So I was sitting at Epoch and they started playing Modest Mouse. I started thinking about how Modest Mouse makes me feel a sense of unidentifiable longing, how it sounds bittersweet. Which then led me to thinking about the word bittersweet. It is interesting to describe a sound as bittersweet, since it is a word derived from the sense of taste. But really the meaning of the word comes from using taste as a metaphor for experience - how an experience that feels/tastes bitter can actually simultaneously feel/taste sweet. So I made a brief attempt to find other words like bittersweet, which led to the discovery that one of the definitions of bittersweet is "A dark to deep reddish orange," which I didn't know. (Interestingly, if I had to pick some colors for Modest Mouse, they would not be red and orange. Green, maybe?) Which is now adding the sense of sight to the word "bittersweet," in addition to the sense of taste, which I am now using to describe a sound.

Which then brings us to the lovely doorstep of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, who argue that language is inherently embodied. We use our experience of our bodies to construct language which we then use to create metaphors about our experience of life, feelings and thoughts. Meaning that language is fundamentally about the body, not about the mind, as we tend to think. Meaning we can't understand our minds unless we first understand our experience of our bodies. (I wrote about this over here and here, if you want more language and embodiment dorkiness)

So, in summation, life is bittersweet and I want to go dancing. Which is what I have been saying all these years. Which is what I am always trying to say.

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