That Elusive Depth ~ BitterSweetLife

Monday, February 07, 2005

That Elusive Depth

Talk That Counts

I’ve often wondered what makes verbal communication gripping. How does a serious message, voiced in conversation, become Wow? How does one put truth in such a light that it appears as itself, irresistibly fine?

To go beyond—or rather beneath—mere recital, that’s the point. To subjugate words and truth so that you don’t merely repeat them, but have first claimed them, poured them inside so that they work themselves out with force.

As with a poem. You can read it off the page and lull your audience to sleep, or you can get it by heart and shock them into sight with your passion.

So many communications are like how-to manuals. No doubt they are helpful, probably even true, if one could ever make it past the table of contents. Sadly, they're “useful” and “forgettable” in the same breath—that’s the problem with verbal prescriptivism.

The key would be to first take and digest the contents yourself. Then you wouldn’t be pointing to topic headings like a tour guide, but recounting the gist of things, like a veteran. Spirited testimonials, not helpful references, are the idea.

In the long run, second-hand recitals tend to be forgotten. “Freshness”—which in the case of expressed truth is simply a nearer thrust at reality—comes only through prior ownership, through previous experience, love and taste.

In the case of conveyed truth, “Used” is the essential condition.

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Anonymous said...

Yes I agree that mere recital of information and even truth is rather stale and boring. Which results in me not remembering it because I think it is not important because the person reciting has not worked it into his life, so he has just set an example for me that it is not neccessary to work it in to your life. Just knowing or memorizing the stuff is sufficient. Leave your heart out of it. That seems the key to stale and lifeless recital of information, truth or not.

Anonymous said...

I think that you illustrate what you have illustrated in your drawings very well. THat you are going to and even now are pouring in words, ideas, truths... and you are walking around the earth with these ideas all over the lenses over your eyes and you are seeing the world through these ideas; and by doing so you test what you have poured in by means of experience. You test for yourself if the information is worthwhile or if it is even valid.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife