Language & Literacy


an image from behind the looming silhouette of the word, "Libertyville" astride a hillside overlooking a city at night.

Weaving back in a short poem to start our post:

The Influence Unseen of the Words We Use to Be

Part I: The Acculturation of the Mind

There is a fertile topsoil we are born with in our brains, imprinted by the interplay of sights and sounds and movement of those who interact with us. This immersive communicative theater, felt first in the womb, roots itself within the immediacy of each moment, even while gesturing at distant realms yet unknown. Climbing towards this mystery with our tongues and thoughts and technology bends the world toward our needs, and allows us to project our inner selves into the past and future. We ride rivers and build highways across our brains. This is our cultural inheritance, our storied legacy of language and literacy.

Part II: The Shadowed Underbelly of Words

Yet this glorified development harbors dissonance as well, darker truths of the animal and spirit world we project beyond ourselves and thus, distort. As we entangle each other in our webs of words, we may mirror and magnify influences unseen, that inarticulate undertow of us vs. them. When we summon forth our disgust and anger at someone or something else and wrap them into words until our vision becomes blinded, we may become its prisoners, trapped in the enchantment of language itself. As Alicia lived in the interlocution of the pages, the chatter of our minds can lead us unto rifts within. Do animals go mad, other than when rabies infects their brains? Language, in this sense, is viral, amplifying our extremes while shrouding our ensnarement. We can paint a veneer of progress over the denatured scars we leave behind.