An idiom is a funny thing...

Story written by Saad El-Asha on Tuesday 18, September 2018

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An idiom is a funny thing. I'd been constantly drawn to them heedless of their identity; I'd silently admire what people say and feed upon their putative originality, only days before realizing they were expressions used throughout the decades and centuries. What I'd known at the outset was their inability to convey anything admirable about death. Idioms about death are either too decorative or senseless. In Arabic, my mother tongue, I could still find pleasure in exploring the different expressions and deride them as I do in English. I imagine death as the most abstract of ideas to most people, a concept out of language. I have faced death and been ready to die three times. None has evoked a certain uttering. It is, however, ironic, for I often sneer at people who emphasize the element of experience and deem their perspective childish. Experience is overrated. You don't need to experience anything to understand it. The only exception here, methought, was death, and, unless you're Lazarus, you may never share the wisdom of its trials. It's also a concept out of experience. My cousin and I were chatting in the kitchen one hot night, enjoying local ice cream and each other's jokes. Death had no dominion and, furthermore, no existence whatsoever in these conversation. Three days later, I'd seen her for the last time, occasionally saying goodbye to me and the rest of the familial gang before she was hit by a car the next morning, killed instantly. My fascination continues; idioms in songs, on the news, in the movies, and primarily in books, an elusive fascination with no cohesive links to the essence of those expressions; the sort of fascination that was completely absent one hot ice creamy night with my cousin, discussing everything but idioms and, naturally, death.
   

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