…it seems to me (or so, I believe) is to engage the majestic, maddening risk of having my words misinterpreted by the reader.
In this (even more, it seems to me), there is that greater risk of enduring the rebellion of the inherent independence of the words themselves.
They, yes, formed and fashioned in the cauldron of my simmering creativity – yet, once set free, incapable of being constrained by me – rushing toward others’ open, searching eyes, fly through the labyrinthine corridors of their minds. And there, they alight wherever they choose in the vast provinces of others’ varied understandings.
In this (still more, it seems to me), there is that grander risk of all: self-discovery. For, as the Apostle contends (and so, I believe), I peer in a mirror dimly. Thus, when I write, I oft discern that I did not (could not) know (surely, not fully or, perhaps, better said, surely, fully unknowing) what I intended until the words are seen and given meaning through the eyes and minds of others.
And through the maze, this haze of risk, I behold this clearest reward. For when the reader interprets, saying, “This is what these words say to me,” it signifies that one has honored and humbled me by lending the fullness one’s self – thought and feeling, reflection, recollection, and perception – following my leading to arrive at the end of personal meaning, which is only a beginning should the reader again take up my words, whether adopting them as one’s own or in reading them anew and arriving at still another (“Aha!”) understanding.
© 2021 PRA
Endnote: “I peer in a mirror dimly” is my paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13.12 (For now we see in a mirror, dimly…Now I know only in part), which I interpret as the Apostle Paul’s witness to the human limitations of knowledge about life and self and God, especially in relation to the fullness of understanding that is the gift of eternity.
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