For Wednesday, March 16, 2016:
“To write a sentence is to enter the threshold of mystery.”
“A word after a word after a word is power.”
Something in me prefers the mystery to the power. Both statements are true in their ways, but I prefer the open-to-possibilities of the first. That one feels more hospitable, more welcoming, more inviting, both as the one who is writing and for the reader.
At the same time I must remind myself that there can be power in mystery. The word ‘power’ doesn’t have to mean hit-’em-over-the-head violence, of course. In our everyday lives, there’s power in silence, in tears, in an insight. A lot depends on how we choose to or need to define the word.
Ironically, ‘mystery’ is a little less ambiguous. According to the thesaurus, the antonyms for ‘mystery’ are ‘known’ and ‘understanding.’ There are a few more for ‘mysterious,’ but not all that many: apparent, plain, obvious, straightforward, tangible, and – my favorite – unmysterious.
‘Power,’ on the other hand, has three definitions – the concepts of the nouns are ability and competence, physical ability and capability, and control and dominance – and thus, together, more antonyms. Regardless which definition one chooses, though, the antonyms all have to do with being ineffective, or disability, surrender, weakness, incompetence, yielding, and the like.
When I started this post, when I wrote that first sentence, I had no idea where I was going. After this exegesis, though, I know now why I prefer the threshold of mystery.