Out of reach

Not to find the right words may ironically be proof that the right words are meant.
-Alain de Botton

Oftentimes in the middle of a conversation, I pause. I am searching for the perfect adjective. There is a perfect word for all occasions; all that I want to say. Sometimes though if the pause is long enough, the person on the other side of the conversation hotline may think I am lost in thought, or worse inept at finding words. But as Alain de Botton says, it’s often the contrary.

I have seen words escape my lips and fingers with grating regularity. The simplest explanation seems out of reach of the realm of words. It forms a nebulous cloud right above my head. A little to the right, actually. And when I reach out to grasp meaning, it moves further away. I am left with a poor substitute that means nothing because it’s not precisely what I want. Between thought and language, it’s the thought that comes first. Language cannot fit the thought sometimes.


8 thoughts on “Out of reach

  1. Beautifully put. Feels great to know I am not alone. Incredibly enough, I had always thought the pauses mean a lot too. I am making no sense here.

    Love the last line. I am bound to use it some time. With due credit, of course.

  2. Rohit, 🙂 it feels good to know I am not alone either! I am always getting into trouble for reading pauses accurately. LOL! Oh, you do make sense!

    Consider the last line all yours! You probably already know that this thought isn’t exactly original. It’s an age-old debate. I remember my linguistics professor asking my bright 17-year-old self, “What comes first-thought or language?” And I answered, “Language!” She looked at me most incredulously. I haven’t forgotten her look yet. I wish she could have read this post! 🙂

  3. Very profound actually! Never thought you capable of such profundity…;)

    Liked this line the best: Between thought and language, it’s the thought that comes first.

    1. Hey Hannah: Ahh! Now you know! 😛 Thanks re! I wrote this piece on a whim and suddenly so many people relate to it. So maybe I maybe have tapped into something here! 😀

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