My Life’s Dream began to flow in earnest about two or three years after I was born. The significant event marking its commencement occurred when a deliveryman came to my family’s home with a huge box containing a Magnavox monaural sound system. (This is a highly significant symbol given the trajectory my life subsequently took exploring the English Language system of ‘cymbals’ and sounds).
When I entered the room where the Magnavox was being set up, the deliveryman told me that a bat had flown out of the box as soon as he’d opened it and into a tree in our backyard tree. (In my memory, there is no confusion about which tree it might be since we lived in the desert and there were so few). I ran outside excitedly to stand beside a scrawny tree in full expectation of seeing a bat hanging from its branches. A baseball bat.
Looking back on that fateful moment, I see myself standing in a state of surprise and disappointed to find no bat (of either description) hanging there. But what startled me the most was the sudden realization that two completely different things could each lay full claim to the same name, despite the fact that they appeared to bear no resemblance to each other.
It is this wondering that initiated the quest-i-on through the mirrored corridors of linguistic synchronicities and the tortuous cultural mind-set it both reflects and generates. To this day I take great pleasure in identifying and examining the relationship between odd verbal bedfellows — like taught and taut, lesson and lessen — which seem to echo and reflect my own school daze.
This next curious piece from my personal CrossWord puzzle will at first seem unrelated. But as with all dreams – whether waking or sleeping – the pattern is revealed most readily in retrospect once we correctly ‘connect the dots.’