Cassie Rodenberg: Electron-ic Bonds

July 28, 2009, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Musings, Science, Writing

How mathematical and scientific a sentence is… subject, verb with perhaps a few shards of preposition, adverb or clever conjunction. With a single punctuation mark, a slash, what sort of psychological curtain can we lift? A sentence is simply personal science: an addition with a pipetted keystroke.

Though a single organism, by definition, cannot itself evolve, I think we all believe that humans do on an emotional level. Notice, I do not say “grow.” I don’t believe that all of us “grow” in directional terms, unless “in spirals” or “u-turns” count as growth. No, I believe evolution is the right term because it involves mutation, undecidedly good, bad or indifferent. So thus, we evolve, a truly scientific verb and feat.

I’ve often imagined change, not in age but in emotional circumstance, the psychological bulk of who we are. Science in the form of forensics allows us to map people after death takes them, even allowing a craned-neck approach into the past. How many broken bones? Wear on bones? Children or no? Cause of death? Wisdom teeth removed? Science, with much effort, can give us each person’s story, perhaps an accurate depiction of how things were. But if we could choose to map our lives with words, the sinews and tendons of who we are and what we’ve been through, what would we say?

Life looks like a sentence, not an imprisonment, but “a set of words that is complete in itself.” What do our choices say about us? Did we choose lengthy prepositions or have a comma splice? Just as our bones show grooves and lines with wear and breaks, our punctuation reveals our struggles and victories.

Of course, a sentence is a personal matter, but I suppose I owe you mine. Please don’t judge me too readily, for it was a momentary creation like all good revelations are:

“My hands and I were bruised, and thus my ink-clad fingers wrote.”

I’d like to know your sentence.


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