A trip to one internet dictionary yields the peculiar definition, "what is meant by a word, text, concept, or action." Which begs the question of what "meaning" might mean... leading to a tail-chasing exercise ... the meaning of "meaning" is what "meaning" might mean. That ought to fry anyone's eggs.
Another definition -- this one from Merriam Webster, which is one of the few dictionaries that actually digs in to the words it includes: "the thing one intends to convey especially by language....the thing that is conveyed especially by language....something meant or intended...significant quality; especially : implication of a hidden or special significance....the logical connotation of a word or phrase; the logical denotation or extension of a word or phrase ...." and there is more.
What a peculiar moniker, "meaning." Academics pounce like a cat on catnip. Philosophers find yet another excuse to sit in a Paris cafe and ponder. Do-gooders and sooth-sayers smooth the lashing of life's waves. And coincidentally create an income stream. The grief-stricken are consoled ... well, not really, but you know what I mean.
Meaning -- what would things be like if for just one moment -- one gentle, firm moment -- "meaning" were excised from anyone's lexicon. No anger, no cynicism, no eureka, no sorrow, no confusion, no greed, no love or joy, no wisdom or ignorance ... just excised.
The tractor trailer tipped over.
The couple got married.
The maddened elephant stormed through the village.
The seas rose and the wind blew.
From across the room came a single smile.
The graffito read, "A kiss that lasts forever is a strange gift."
And with the excision of "meaning,' of course, any notion of "no meaning" would, ipso facto, likewise be excised. What would that be like?
Remember the times where the desperate need for "meaning" was all but overwhelming? Remember the last time some slick-tongued nitwit opined, "it is what it is?" Remember, remember, remember the meanings for which anyone might cry out or inveigh against and yet ... and yet ... and yet.
"Meaning" is a peculiar moniker.
I want to say "the other side of the mirror," but the peculiarity of "meaning" leaves such a phrase floundering on some psychobabble dock.
Gently, firmly ... "slip-sliding away."
Is "meaning" necessary? How could anyone know without giving it a rest?
What might "giving it a rest" mean?