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Recipe for Washing Dirty Words by Viviane Mosé

Translation from Brazilian Portuguese by me

I would like to say something that I can't afford to spread around.

The truth is, it is a secret I've been keeping.

It is a revelation I can't afford to share everywhere because I'm afraid that people will fall apart!

They will lose their own balance when I reveal it.

I have discovered that the word doesn't know what it says…

The word delirious! The word means whatever.

The truth is that the word, by itself, within itself, doesn't mean anything.

The meaning is the established agreement between who is speaking and who is listening.

When there is an agreement, there is communication.

When this agreement is broken, no one says anything anymore.

Even when using the same words.

The word is the clothing we use.

Some use short words. Others use excessive clothing.

There are the ones who throw words away.

Worse are the ones who use them in misalignment.

Some use expensive words. Very few ostentate rare words.

There are the ones who never change them, there are the ones who use the words of others.

The majority don't know the words they use. Some know, but they pretend they don't.

And, there are the ones who never use the proper clothing for the proper occasion.

There are the ones who manage to look good with a few pieces.

Others, entangle themselves in an excessive vocabulary.

There are people who destroy everything they use.

And, you, with the words, you become naked.

So, this is why I created a recipe.

If the word is a piece of clothing, it is extremely dirty!

We use the same words all the time, the words are oily.

Then, I created, a "Recipe for washing dirty words!"

Soak the dirty word in bleach.

After two days soaking, bring it to whitening under the midday sun.

Some words when whitened under the sun, acquire a consistency of Certainty.

For instance, the word Life.

There are others, like the word Love, are very dirty and worn out due to excessive use.

For them, it is recommended to rub and stone wash, and then rinse with running water.

Very few can resist this process, but some can.

It is said that lemon and salt eliminate difficult dirt.

And, every intent of washing the word Pityness, has been always in vain.

I've never seen a word so dirty like Loss.

Loss and Death, while clearing under the sun, release a corrosive liquid which is recognised by the name of Bitterness, which is capable of draining the energy of a language.

The recommendation in this case is to keep them soaked in a softener of good quality.

Now, if what you want is only to alleviate the daily words, you can use washing powder and a washing machine.

Warning! Do not mix the words that can stain when in touch with others.

Guilt, for instance, stains everything it comes across with.

Guilt should be cleaned separately.

Another mix that is not recommended is Friendship and Desire.

Desire is an intense word, almost aggressive.

And it can, which is not inevitable, debilitate the limited power of the word Friendship.

The word Power fits well in any mix.

It is important not to wash the words excessively, as they might risk losing their meaning.

That little daily dirt, when not excessive, produces a moisty which gives vigour to the sounds.

Very important in the art of washing words is to be able to recognise a clean word.

Mingle with that word for a few days, allowing it to mix with your gestures, and walk through the expression of your senses.

In the evening, allow it to lie down. Not beside you. But, over your body.

When you sleep, the word planted in your skin, will proliferate in all its possibilities.

If you can tolerate this coexistence, up to the extent when you don't perceive its presence anymore, then you have a clean word.

A clean word is a word of possibilities.


The author

Viviane Mosé is a Brazilian poet, philosopher, psychologist, psychoanalyst and public policy consultant. She received a Ph.D. from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro's Institute of Philosophy and Social Sciences.

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