I See Said the Blind[person]

Thu 04/29/04 at 1:26 pm

Now that I actually have my blog, I’m even more aware of internal and external stimuli that I could turn into blog entries. Indeed, I’ve not sat down to write for a while because different ideas have been falling over themselves in my mind to the point that I was overwhelmed with the thought of picking out just one of them and seeing where it goes. This morning, though, I’d pretty much decided where, at least, to begin. And then, a few sentences into this composition, I realize I’ve written something that takes me in an entirely new direction. To wit, why did I just write the phrase “seeing where it goes?” The eyes are unnecessary for thought. See, e.g., The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Paradise Lost. The tag I just used, “see, e.g.,” I wrote hundreds of times during my life as a lawyer. Legal briefs follow the rules set forth in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. According to said same (I’m in lawyer mode now), using “[s]ee” means the “cited authority [that follows] directly states or clearly supports the proposition.” Adding “,e.g.” indicates that “other authorities also state, support, . . . the proposition but that citation to them would not be helpful or is not necessary.” Id. (briefspeak for “ibidem” or “ibid.”).

Sight is unnecessary to write. I could type this entry with my eyes closed. Indeed, the various implements associated with the task of writing are unnecessary. Included within the many definitions of write or writing is “to produce or be engaged in producing a poem, book, play, story, or article: give literary or journalistic form to a conception, plot, or happening.” See Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1976 ed.). No one suggests that Milton didn’t wrote Paradise Lost even though one or the other of his daughters actually wrote it. More specifically, then, Milton prescribed while one or the other of his daughters transcribed. “Pre-,” however, means “earlier than: prior to: before.” Mirriam-Webster Online. So maybe it is more accurate to say (I mean write) (don’t get me started) that Milton described Paradise Lost, since “de-” means “to reduce.” Id. Except, one doesn’t necessarily need words to write; i.e., another definition of write is “to take part in or bring about (something worthy of recording) . . . the Colorado River has been writing a record of history in the earth’s crust.” Hot-metal Magic. Webster’s Third.

So, the writing of a thought occurs sometime before it is either prescribed or described. The writing, however, appears to end before the thought is transcribed, as “trans-” means “on or to the other side of.” Mirriam-Webster. So when does the seeing of the thought take place? Well, I guess that depends on however one understands the title of the first chapter in my Freshman English textbook, “[h]ow can I know what I think until I see what I say?”

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