Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Words on Words

(My Muse is Calling)

Sometimes, when I least expect it, that creativity muse sneeks up on me and kicks me in the backside. I can't go looking for her. She just comes in her own time. I think she was unleashed while I sat in the theatre viewing Julie and Julia. So I've been trying to be open to her. To let her take over. She hasn't quite yet, but she's sitting beside me in the chair. She raised her hand and waved frantically at me when I read the invite from Horticulture Magazine to submit garden related prose for a writing contest. I am wanting to tie up a work commitment so I can let her run through my fingers and paint words on the blank paper that is my screen.

In thinking about a possible submission to Horticulture I did take a quick look through some of my older writings and found a few things that I'll ask you to indulge me in. Things that I wrote at times when writing was a more significant connection to myself. A few things about the power of words and ideas that spilled out, as if some message to myself that reading now, years later, I understand better.

First this Essay on Words. It doesn't feel complete but I think it's a start. Of something....


The Power of Words

I lean towards the jewelry, the d├ęcor that contains letters….words. A necklace that has three rings, each with a word: Faith, Hope, Love. Large black letters cut out of wood to hang on my wall: DREAM; IMAGINE. These are among my favorite things. I process and venture into the land of discouragement, melancholy, even hope and find my way out at the other end by spitting out words. Words to capture what I see, feel, experience. Words are the key to begin to know myself and to take that risk to let others see a bit of what I am. Private words can contain an honesty that I can’t say out loud. Even to myself.

My favorite writing on words:

Words by Elizabeth Tarbox

Let’s keep talking, my love. Words we have to spare: love words and angry words, and beneath them hurting, bleeding, dying words, and beneath them words melted by fire and hardened by ice, words of sadness and truth birthed from the cavern of tears.
And when the words are spent, heaped over the pages and spilled to the floor, let us read each others eyes and see the chapters and places where old bookmarks press the pages apart, so the book opens up to the old story before we can move on.

For you are all the love words I have ever heard and all the hurt words where the love is deepest, stripped back and bleeding.

But lets keep caring, ever so slowly building down the words, one beneath the other, getting closer to the truth and still deeper until you touch your words to my wounds, honor them, and feel the pain. Our wounds may not be healed by the touch of the other’s words but are dignified by our recognition of their existence.

Then and only then will the words mean anything; when we have used them up until the old meanings have been scrubbed off; when the wrong words have been tried and discarded and the right words have been spoken in a whisper, then let us climb down into each other’s souls and rest there in silence and love.

Have you ever read anything so beautiful?

What some refer to as “The Word” (the Bible) is by far the best selling book of all times. Translated in more languages than any other written document. Through The Word millions of people are united in a Truth and a Hope that binds those who have never met or even crossed paths. We are united through a legacy of words left as a precious gift to bring understanding and Grace in a life otherwise futile.

Words are more powerful than any physical force: bruises from verbal abuse last exponentially, even infinitely, longer than bruises from a fist. Taunting words from tough youth planted before we knew from where they came lay deep inside us. Unspelled but spilled to soil our thoughts of self and where we fit in this world.

Silent punishment, the withholding of words, is perhaps the meanest punishment of all. Those who have, have much to lose. But the greatest loss is that of contact. That cannot be bought. Only replaced, if one is lucky. When a partner withholds words, you must create your own to fill in that space. The words borne of neglect and fear are not good words. They are words to wound and write doubt onto the page that is yourself. Words are seeds planted on another’s heart. Good words can save a person. Bad ones can destroy. They are a most powerful gift. And an awesome responsibility. They require care. But they are also an incredible tool to let free and go and launch onto a paper or out in contact. For there is nothing more validating than to have someone say “I see your words and they are mine. You have put to words what my soul longs to say but does not have the words.”
And this...

Mental symbols
Like metal cymbals
Crash, producing sound
Birthing new ideas
Conceptualize and conceive
Entities and ideas
Born from gray matter
Journey to tongue or fingers
Finding a way out
To illumination

From abstract to the concrete
Ideas and deeds
Things in their extension
Basic element of a proposition
Bearers of meaning

“Words in various languages
Have Identical meaning,
Because they express
One and the same
Concept.” (Wickipedia)
A challenge and a gift
Communication is the challenge
Understanding, the gift

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