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Monday, September 12, 2011

The name I name it by

"Mrs Taylor was the one who vastly increased my dominion over the earth and its creatures by teaching me the art of naming them. It wasn't until years later that I learned what a fatal art that is. Because if on the one hand to name a thing is to be able to address it, to appropriate it, to have a way of understanding it, it is on the other hand to erect a barrier between yourself and it that only on the rarest, most inspired occasions, you are able to surmount again.

Now that thanks to Mrs Taylor I can name a tree as a tree, what I see when I look at it is less than it actually is, than simply, the name I name it by.

When I was a child, what I saw when I looked at a tree was something as naked in its mystery as I was naked in mine. Yet I thank her anyway, if she hadn't taught me the name, somebody else would have, and probably not half so well."

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