Monday, October 08, 2007

is there a moment

when a person stops developing ideas that change his/her view of the world? i'm not sure i want to find it. having chosen a college major focused in 'non-western' culture, i've had the privilege of learning a lot less than enough about a couple of different places. there's the one where i grew up, and whose literary treasures i largely ignored in an effort to gain some comprehension of the depths i can't fathom in another cultural sea.

i was thinking about the word 'unfathomable' last night or maybe the night before. i have always used it as a proxy for 'deep,' but if we truly cannot fathom something, we have no idea how shallow it might be a pool of water glinting in the sun that gives no indication of its depth, though we may rationally assume it to be no deeper than a few inches. once we've moved the word 'unfathomable' to the figurative, its meaning is not tied to the act of dropping a line to gauge depth. something unfathomable is something we have no means of measuring, despite all the tools we think should tell us the truth.

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