Tuesday, June 15, 2010




: to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge : uplift; also : enlighten, inform

Latin, Latin, and more Latin. This word stems from aedificare, the verb meaning "to erect a house." Somehow it made the transition into the figurative "uplifting via religion," and now the word generally means "improve" or the very secular "enlighten through knowledge."

But I'm interested in the original transition—house as metaphor for the self. I am definitely guilty of using the term "shaky foundation" to better illustrate the rocky beginnings of a doomed relationship. I have also heard people describe the act of "building walls" to figuratively protect their emotions. I suppose one could view a the development and aging of a home as parallel to the construction of self—layers of paint covering and recovering the original walls, the faded steps of a staircase climbed too many times, tack holes, irremovable stains on a worn carpet.

Yeah. I'm not really sure where this is going. I'm distracted. Just received an unexpected phone call. Spent a few moments staring at a chip in the wooden facade of my desk. The afternoon takes a turn.

The idiom—you can never go home again. You can never return to your childhood, you can never return to that first unobstructed sense of your self. I think that's what I was thinking about—the self as a house.

EDIFYING a house, EDIFYING the self. And then just leaving in order to EDIFY somewhere else.


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