The same sentence can mean a number of different things depending on the context in which it's uttered, the way it's uttered, who utters it, and who's listening. And from a very young age we grapple with all these sources of information - the words themselves, the words in a web of context. Day-to-day, without thinking about it, we perform these mental feats.
When the brain is a pool float, bobbing gently on light blue chlorinated waters.
At the wedding, two guests tie a bunch of cloth napkins into a makeshift rope and start twirling it round and round as a jumprope for the bride. She holds onto the skirt of her gown and jumps, smiling and laughing. Just as she starts to get tired her mother-in-law and then one of her sisters-in-law bounce in, and they hold out for a little while to cheers and shouts of encouragement.
The drive, late on a Sunday afternoon, is a surprising treat. Quiet suburban neighborhoods with deep green lawns give way to gas stations and highways.
To help them prepare for their upcoming visit I send them information about what sites to visit, which neighborhoods to walk through (and which to avoid), and how they can best get around. I'm happy about their visit and also have a proprietary feeling towards the city where I live. I don't always think of this city as home, but in moments like these I feel it's mine.
At the dessert reception a table with marshmallows, melting chocolate, and graham crackers. Guests in formal attire lick their fingers.
Orange creamsicles at the end of a long hot day.