Meaning

Meaning. I’m drawn to a felt meaning in things. What did they mean when they wrote this? Is meaning a mere temporary value I ascribe to things? Is meaning something I fabricate, or something I discover?

The root of “meaning” is tied to “signify”, “say” and “tell”. Perhaps we might even say that a stone found in the forest means something to us… Perhaps it tells of a trail we were trying to follow. Or maybe the stone was given to us as a gift from a loved one, and finding it is an occasion of great meaning.

And that meaning is important, but in my heart, I am searching for more than just a circumstantial meaning. Circumstantial meaning is of great value and life is rich with it, but I’m on a quest for a source meaning, an ultimate meaning. When I follow the meanings, the sign posts, they seem to be telling the story (perhaps more a story than a concise conclusion I’ll stumble upon in some hidden cave). And the living meaning of these things is bound up in their meaning-giver—their storyteller.

There is something animate in the story—for we are ultimately after the storyteller, yet he is also telling forth a story, filled with meaning, and being near him is a revelation of light by which we can see so much other meaning. Hiding behind rocks and trees, much lies in shadow—but if we could see as the sun, every face would be alight. When we find the storyteller, we find our treasure, we find the earth from which all meaning grows. But it’s as if he wants us to know him, to be near to him, to hear and be able to recognize his voice, to stand and look at the story pouring forth from his lips—a living story with living meaning… and all that to enter the story—for we are part of it, part of its meaning, and living in this root story brings about meaning like rain and good soil bring forth fruit.

Meaning is valuable, and we can see it apart from knowing the storyteller. But when we know him, the meaning in our lives blossoms like spring on faces hidden through winter.

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