Friday, May 8, 2009

Ellipses

(Ed. note: There may be too many metaphors in the following post, but I was personally invested in them all and couldn't bear to part with even a single one.)

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly." --Proverb

I recently realized that I may use ellipses more than the average bear. It is a punctuation mark that is full of possibilities and it implies a thoughtfulness that lasts beyond the end of the sentence in question, both of which appeal to me both as a writer and a person. In my head, there are very few thoughts that end with an exclamation point or a period, as most streams-of-consciousness are connected by three little dots that are so simple and yet say so much.

I feel much the same way about the seasons of the year. For some reason, the winter season is like my ellipsis, a time when I withdraw and become more pensive than usual, generally while suffering from some sort of SAD symptoms. It is not unlike Aristotle's description of catharisis in Poetics:

"Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions."

Throughout the winter, I've been waiting with bated breath for the turn-around, for the moment when the curtain drops and the catharsis kicks in for the audience, bringing a sense of relief and euphoria. No tragedy is the true end, it is merely followed by an ellipsis that leads to the next story. It is a cycle of seasons, of tragedy-comedy-tragedy, of fall-winter-spring.

My point is this: I'm glad it's spring. The "purgation of these emotions" for which I've been waiting finally seems to be just around the corner.

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