That is the thing. When you send words out into the world, they leave you, you lose them. You give them away with speech, with writing, with publishing. The sharing of words is the loss of ownership, I suppose. There’s a way that writing with no audience is a kind of hoarding. I write and write and write – many many things that no one will ever read. Those words are still mine.
But as soon as others take them in, I share them. I retain some ownership but the eyes that read them or the ears that hear them own them a bit as well.
Once I’ve heard a story on the radio, for example, the story becomes a little bit mine. When I share it with someone else, either through playing it or explaining it, it becomes a little bit mine and a little bit theirs.
And so it goes on and on – the portion of ownership growing and shrinking as the words travel on.