Saturday, July 06, 2013

Using A Word

Reading this quote by Adrienne Rich made me think about what it means when this word can no longer used in a human relationship.

An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

She explains why this right is an important one

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.
It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.
It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us

So considered in inverse, ceasing to have the right or losing it along the way might imply growing self-delusion and isolation. In failing to do justice to our complexity, we might turn reductive in how we experience ourselves and understand our context (and purpose) relative to the world. Finally on being able to find only few people in our lives who give us the right to love, comes the idea of dilution of the word itself. Maybe when used without any specific implication and forethought the word does not set off this process that is "delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved" and in as such it fails to achieve some of what Rich describes as important.

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