Lexicographical Interventions: “Gifts”

It is a curious thing how the essence of a gift seems to lie not on the gift itself but on how its feigns the appearance of a gift. A book given to another person without a decorative gift wrapper is often not considered a gift. On the other hand, even a muddy stone extracted from the ground, wrapped with a dainty paper can be considered a gift. When we give presents during Christmas parties, we cover them as if to delay the trauma of a revelation, to clothe the thing with a veil of enigma, to suspend judgment, to make them seem special, as if their special-ness is not apparent and they are in fact worthless, which is usually the case. On the other hand, when we give a kiss, a song, or vulnerable poem perhaps, we lay them down not as gifts, but as mere spillages of an overflowing benevolence or love. Hence, giving is a sincere form of mania. I came upon the conclusion that when we truly give, we do not give gifts— we spill our guts to the ground while ignoring the pain of the sword piercing our flesh.

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