“…the self becomes itself only through a transaction of signs with other selves…”—Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos
Is a self a self without another to show and share itself to? Maybe that’s a reason, in our isolation or fear of open, honest expression—a society of consumption, imitation, but little true creation; wavetop views but little showing of our depths—that we feel lost or not ourselves.
To whom do we sign? To whom do we share? How?
Taken from self-experience, I accept this phrase as true. It is my truth, perhaps not another’s; and in our modern age truth, too, has become a sign and phrase with little grounding in concrete symbol of acceptance (especially in political and social spheres); and so we must do our best to be understood by interpretation of our expressed signs.
I am thirty-eight years old, will soon be thirty-nine. I am still mostly lost and wandering in this life, but by method and blessing, I’ve been gifted a beginning grounding into who and what I am. In writing, I discover who and what is most myself.
By words and signs and style (and overusing and for the purpose of lyric conversational)—whether truth or fiction, ordered or a mess—I express something that, whatever it is, I recognize as me.
After, and during, I receive the experience of transcendent-high of awareness that comes in self-expression of depth and desire to be known, found, beyond the short answers, head nods, smiles, and straight faces that were my historic verbal conversational cues.
To anyone who finds and reads, a writing says in some way “this is something of me.”
Some will like it. Some will not, and those that don’t won’t read. So write, share, for the few who find and care.
They help you to be you. You help them to be them: all by a transaction of signs in which we find and make our meanings.
In reading, there will be strangers you never meet that will grow to know you better than faces that stand before you every day (and, still, there are signs and means of knowing that can only be read, learned, and communed in shared and given presence, energy, and spirit of another living other. But even then, it is the signs that show and share ourselves).
By what we give away—true expression of ourselves (which is different than acting and playing a part or giving only from ourselves what we believe another to expect; such actions gift no reward but only disillusionment. Out of falseness, how would we ever expect to find a truth?)—we are gifted a return—discovery, discernment (and if not that, a greater working understanding) of ourselves..
So gift, give, and sign: write, speak, and share.
Help others do the same.
If we are all more or less lost and stumbling through the Cosmos, what does it hurt to speak (and listen) and sign (and see) a little more to help each other on our way (to whatever end awaits)?
And to you who reads, interpreting and making sense of this transaction of words and signs: thank you for helping me be me.