Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
This wor(l)d as an illusion                  (page 3)

A sentence has a beginning and an end: a beginning is a capital letter and the end is a question mark, full stop, or exclamation point. This was among the earlier lessons I received in school. I was also taught that a sentence is made of many disparate parts with disparate tasks. Nobody hinted that a sentence is a construction that changes as phenomena does, that words can expire and can become out of use and relevance. Or that words are not inherent in themselves and do not point to inherent objects and reality. In other words, that absolute reality or truth is beyond language.

Such reminders came at home. Every now and then I heard how words are an illusory construction to point to an illusory world. Or at least that is how I paraphrase it. The consideration of language as illusory and the determination that the world is built on a questionable system of categorization (through language) did not and does not worry me. Instead, it intrigues me because the life of writing makes complicated and porous the borders between what is experienced as permanent and real and what is transitory and illusory. It seems probable to me that in order for words to write towards what is an immeasurable, intelligent, and constantly changing environment, some illusion is necessary.

I might say now that a sentence is a construction; a manipulation. A sentence is a fabrication of normalcy, it is something of a lie because the world of descriptions I write to and about has little basis for truth but for my experience and habit of them. Thus, I might say a sentence (or language) is a negotiation between the self and the world constructed and not inherently possessing qualities I can attribute as truth if I give qualities of non-dualism to truth. To a poet whose defense and delight against the unknown is language, such thoughts might sting but they do not dampen my love for words nor my reliance on them.

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