Saturday, April 27, 2013

let your words be anything but empty

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
-Sara Bareilles, "Brave"

I don't know if this is the product of reading Lord of the Rings at too young an age, or from eating too much alphabet soup, but words have enchanted me.
I am caught in their spell completely.
In fairy-tales, there is always a magic word that casts a spell or lifts an enchantment.
Words work magic in Real Life, too.
When your soul starts to make whimpering, soggy pancake sounds, sometimes you need a lift out of your gloominess, nothing does the trick like a kind word or an inside joke from a friend.


You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug


If you stop and think about what words are, you realize that they are little bits of divinity that invade even the most mundane of our day.
How did human beings managed to agree that mango meant a juicy orange fruit, and balsamic vinegar meant a dark, slightly gelatinous liquid that tastes delicious with bread and olive oil?
How did human beings decide the woman who gave birth to you and would give her life for you is called your mother?
And how did they string together four letters: l, o, v, and e to represent the idea/ideal/thought/word/person that lies at the core of our existence?

Even if you have an explanation for those questions, there is no answer.
We just have to say, along with C.S. Lewis' Orual,  "I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?
 Only words, words; to be led out to battle against other words.”


Don’t run, stop holding your tongue 
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live 
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in 


Writing is simply painting a picture.
You know exactly what colors that you want to use, down to the finest gradations in shade.
You see the picture so sharply and vividly in your head, and then it’s just a matter of copying down what you see. But instead of paint, you just color with the words in the air; flashes of words and whispers of color from dreams that permeate the air.
You catch familiar phrases on the wind that make your ears perk up and pay closer attention.
As you hear familiar phrases from familiar books and friends peppered through Bible passages about rebirth and tears turning into laughter, your eyes and ears are more attuned to the symphony of chamber music that is being played by the sentences you read.


The greatest gift I have ever received from friends are words.
Anastomosis. Unclear. Strugglebus. Gotong-Royong.

These are like particular pigments given to a poor artist.
Conversation is like a great swap of vast swaths of colors.
The world would be so greatly impoverished if artists never shared paints with one another.

If Shakespeare never took it upon himself to create tens of thousands of words, or if Titian had never discovered azurite, then the world would be a somehow less bright.
Their prisms would not have been as finely cut, and perhaps not as clear and crisp.
The light, perhaps, would not have shone so clearly through these artists.

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out


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