Amphigory


I saw this picture on a Carol Dweck Instagram post and needed to copy it for myself. I am not good at remembering new words. Like new names if I don’t make an effort to retain them I probably won’t. I wanted to remember this word because that part of the definition about meaningless writing cut a little too close to the bone. I would like to think that some of what I write has meaning to others and, you know, it doesn’t hurt my feelings when people tell me so. I also know that what has meaning to you has meaning to you because it has meaning to you. I can write about something that has meaning to me and you may or may not relate to it and find some value for yourself.


People like to be able to relate. We laugh when comedians share dark secrets that we all walk around with but are loathe to admit out loud. Having a connection to places and people provides definition to one’s life. When you take the time to read something you are making a connection with the author. Like other encounters you often don’t know what the take away is until you are away. In the meantime, thank you for taking your time to read this hopefully not amphigorous post.


Growing up my best friend’s father was a writer. One day he was talking about how life had no meaning. He declared that the only meaning it has was the meaning we ascribe to it. That kind of shocked me at first. Not that I had thought about it much, but I grew up assuming there must be some reason we are here. I think it comforts people to believe there is some higher purpose. And there very well may be. It is just hard to know.


Most of us don’t even fully know the meaning behind why we do what we do. Why are you reading this? What is the meaning of your reading? These are questions few of us would even want to entertain let alone dwell on.


Perhaps one of the reasons/meanings of your reading this is you learned somewhere in your life that reading had value. Chances are your parent’s read, or you found reading to be an escape from your day to day reality. However you came upon reading and whatever motivates you to continue, the question I ask is: Is the time spent reading this post meaningless? Are you and I amphigoriating? Wasting time? Hiding out?


Ought I to be somewhere else doing something different? Might not you be better served off putting this down and getting on with your life? Those are the kinds of annoying questions therapists often ask. And, of course you can’t really answer those questions, although you could choose to lament about them. Or just let it go and carry on.


I basically believe the meaning of life is that you get to live it until you don’t. I also believe that if you believe something it is as good as true even if it isn’t. I was taught in graduate school that belief systems are everything. You think it is raining today it is raining today for you even if I am standing next to you in the sun. Your reality is yours which is mostly why Republicans and Democrats can’t ever really accept the other’s position. They each believe they know the truth.


Many of us are pigheaded that way. We believe what we believe and you can’t really talk us out of it. Well, maybe 1% of the time. But mostly we might respectfully listen to others, but when it comes to the bottom line, we truly believe we are true believers.


This intransigency can be challenging in relationships, politics and most every other place. As Mark Twain pointed out: “It ain’t what you know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”


One thing I noticed about myself is I focused on the meaningless part of the definition of amphigory. I didn’t really attend to the nonsensical part. Which, I suspect is a bit of a tell. I don’t know if you have a positive or negative reaction to the word nonsensical, but I think it means playful, silly and not serious. I tend to have those attributes which is why you would think the word would stand out more for me. I do believe I have a willingness and a wantingness to be playful and not so serious. What I don’t have is a willingness and wantingness to be meaningless. If life truly has no meaning, it might behoove me to get on better terms with my own meaninglessness.


So while I open myself more to the concept of meaninglessness I also know I find pleasure in writing. It is a way for me to connect with myself. Am I being amphigouris? Maybe it doesn’t really matter one way or the other. I am doing what I like. And that isn’t meaningless but it can be nonsensical.


The bottom line question to ask is:What is important to me? That can change moment to moment, but as long as I am closely adhering to that I can live in peace with myself.


#CarolDweck #amphigory #meaningoflife #MarkTwain #nonsensical #meaningless

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