Let me open this article with a brief definition of ellipsis “Ellipsis is the omission of a word or series of words. There are two slightly different definitions of ellipsis which are pertinent to literature. The first definition of ellipsis is the commonly used series of three dots, which can be place at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence or clause. These three dots can stand in for whole sections of text that are omitted that do not change the overall meaning.
The dots can also indicate a mysterious or unfinished thought, a leading sentence, or a pause or silence. This punctuation is also referred to as a suspension point, points of ellipsis, periods of ellipsis, or in speech may be called, “dot-dot-dot.” (www.literarydevices.com)…. Stay with me, I promise to try and make sense of this ellipsis thing.
I am overly fond of using ellipsis in my writing…for three main reasons…first in my mind my thinking is always evolving so my thoughts are continually in progress…second I am a self-proclaimed punctuation minimalist… ( I promise it’s a thing, you can read more on writers with special relationships to punctuation here… https://qwiklit.com/2014/03/05/top-10-authors-who-ignored-the-basic-rules-of-punctuation/ )
Lastly, I think of my writing as a continuation of all the thoughts and ideas I am constantly exposed to…of all there is to think and write about….my writing is an invitation to contemplate these few words. It has been useful to me to think of my life in terms of this ellipsis analogy, things were in progress before I got here…things will continue to progress after my time…what I can focus on is how I write my portion of the human story.
You have likely heard of or studied Albert Einstein’s formula E=mc2, also called the first law of thermodynamics or the law of conservation of energy. The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed in a closed system. Our universe is currently described as a closed system…which means every bit of matter that we are physically made of has always existed in our universe and will continue to exist after our demise.
In terms of matter and energy, you are a finite manifestation of the infinite. Therefore, you are both finite and infinite. This same notion is expressed in various ways by the major faiths. The Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) all ascribe to humanity being made in the image of God. Hinduism can be described as pantheism. According to pantheism, God did not create the world; God is the world, along with everything in it. I am not discussing these realms of thought to spark a debate about what is “right” or wrong but to highlight the themes of connection and continuity.
The past and the future are realms we often pre-occupy ourselves with. The transformative work of evolving is always done in the present. Do you often find yourself talking about what you will do in the future or reliving past traumas of what happened to you or what so and so did? Instead of focusing your creative thought energy on the transformative work of today, you are consumed with reminiscing about the past or fantasizing about the future? This physical existence is finite; every moment is precious. If we do not redeem the time and focus our energy on evolving in the present, that time is forever lost to us.
Our life stories are linked to what came before us and what will come after. Many sources we refer to for knowledge indicate that we have the power of creation in our own story. Own that power, activate that power, direct that power.
Dr. Annah K. Amani ( M.P.H., Ph.D.) is a regular contributor on Africa Tembelea. She is committed to advancing total well-being, progress and development.