…I know that there are dozens of ways of being in love. But there is only one way of understanding words. You have to repeat them thousands of times, and in the end the words will open up like a flower.
—Job Koelewijn, from Now What? Artists Write!
Yes, being in love entertains slippery feelings and unknown paths, surprises around the corner. However might that also apply to how we encounter words? And while repetition is one way of pocketing new and interesting words, are there many other paths to understanding language?
To know words, we must see them, hear them, feel them, speak each syllable and sound with our mouths, our hands, our minds. We might imagine them in tense, placed in genre, pattern, or rule, how the meanings change, how the sounds are deceiving. This too seems a lot like love. Imagine words working together, tucked into narrow spaces or pulled along the page margin-to-margin, bunches of letters strung together, building images, conversations, sentences.