words

hello, stranger.  fancy meeting you here.  yes, i know.  it’s been quite a long while since i’ve paid you a visit.  sorry about that.  rest assured it’s been for a variety of reasons, some more worthy than others.

right-o.  diving right in then, shall we?

i’ve always been fond of words.  as a child, i used to collect them.  keep them in shiny, crisp sleeves, polished and pure.  i’d occasionally show them off proudly.  words like “antidisestablishmentarianism” (which, by the way, spellcheck apparently does not like) and “onomatopoeia” (which i happened to spell correctly on the first try.  bully for me).

it wasn’t too long ago that i realized i didn’t just collect words — i breathed them.  they filled my pockets.  i found them tucked behind my ears and peeking out from beneath my pillows.  a few hover just inside my left nostril.  it’s been the time since this epic realization that i discovered why words have always flitted about my world, leaving dusky trails of fascination in their wake.

it’s about power.

we all know that, on some sort of subconscious level.  it doesn’t take long for a young child to feel the piercing pangs of carelessly slung words for the first time.  they know they’re not bleeding, and daddy and mommy can’t kiss it better, but they know it hurts real bad.

words wield a tremendous amount of power.  they can build you up when you’ve been laid low — they can tear you down from the highest mountaintop and plunge you mercilessly into oblivion.  sometimes they taunt you, tease you, torment you by hovering just slightly out of your grasp.  they can twist the truth and bend reality.  cause dissension and misunderstanding.

words can spark your strength into being and find your achille’s heel.  they can drift through your mind and flip a switch at a second’s notice.  they’ve driven people to greatness, madness, badness, and more.  they’ve swayed millions for good and for ill.  and they can disarm you, strip you bare, and leave you vulnerable.

i’ve experienced the gamut of the power of words in recent weeks.  between big scary life stuff and school and everything else, i’ve seen a great deal of this power.  i suppose i’ve even wielded it — though unfortunately, i seem to have done so in a way that has boomeranged right back at me.  lately i feel the vulnerable, on a lot of different levels and in many situations.

at the end of the day, though, i have to feel that my desire for words and my reverence for language and expression is worthwhile.  as scary as it is.  i guess i can hold onto that.

to close out, never underestimate the power of some well-aimed words.  sometimes they sustain us when we least expect it.  and sometimes they simply lead us to the moments when they can do nothing more than fall silent.

On the run, we aim for the summits and pinnacles
But when your wobbly legs tire, but your mind still roams
Here comes the wheelbarrow, I’m taking you home
Please believe in my sense of direction
We’re not lost, we’re not home

(the above italicized words are not my own; they belong to aloha, and a quietwarm song full of all sorts of lovely things.)

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About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on 16 September, 2009, in empath, meanderings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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