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A Little Story about All the Words there Ever Were

Once a year, all the words would gather together for a banquet. Big words and small words. Curse words and holy words. Normal words and strange words. Noun words and verb words and adjective words and adverb words and pronoun words and preposition words and conjunction words. Billions and billions and billions of words.

They would come together each year—as such a diverse collection of words, from all over the spectrum of words—because they all realized that they were inherently words. The most opposite words in meaning were the best of friends in their word-reality, for they knew their origin, their ethos. After all, it was the humans in their world-reality who attached meaning to their arrangement of letters. The humans were the ones who became divided over their usage of words, but all along the words knew that they were merely words, collections of letters. And yes, this even included the holy words.

There once was a mystic who, while realizing the gravity of words, also inherently understood what the words understood—that her words were mere attempts to describe the world-reality in which she lived. Unfortunately, the mystic was a lonely person, for there was no banquet, no gathering, for her to attend. But she held no judgments and knew of liberation, for categories and labels were foreign to her.

She read a book each day—a book with words—and then wrote her reflections in a notebook—filling it with words. And then each evening, she would throw the book of words and her notebook of words into a fire, a yihwham, she called it, which was not a word, but she said could be roughly translated to mean "burning bush." This was her banquet of words. Words that meant everything and nothing, all at the same time.

By Stephen Copeland

This story was first published on

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