I wanted to write you in words so alive
They’d jump from the paper and land in your heart.
I wanted to write you in words of such passion
They’d sear you with heat that stirred deep within.
I wanted to write you of love oh, so true,
Unleashing any doubt of my loyalty to you.
I wanted to write you all this and more…
And then I realized that words are only necessary after love has gone…
Words – sounds that feel good to our tongue and lips – by conscious decision we choose the right word – – is the season fall or autumn? Both capture the same image, but autumn rolls off the tongue like a vision of its splendor. The word brings forth the thought of the sober and careful nature that is the capitulation of spring and summer now gone “mad” – colors everywhere – leaves on the trees are now more like tethered balloons – nature at the circus with fun and visual delights. No more the solid green of the trees and lawns but a true vision of the palette of life foreshadowing the glory that will lead to the rest and dormancy that is winter. And why not? After such an outburst and display, nature must recover herself and prepare for the explosion that will come with each new spring – thrusting all of her energy into the composition of a new creation. But in autumn, the energy has been expended and the rewards evident in display – nature’s last chance to show off and strut her brilliance and dazzle us for one more time like the fireworks at the end of the show. In the brilliance, we ignore the tomato plants now bent and drooped, frail and withered and having outlived their purpose, or the raspberry vine which long lost its fruit and now becomes only a bramble to shelter rabbits and other critters foraging for safety and nourishment before the final freeze… the freeze that is the sound of the word winter – say the word and its syllables bite like Dante’s final circle in Hell – Satan is frozen in a lake of ice and his wings flap to create a hurricane while his tears are frozen to his face – the Earth wrapped in her cloak of white and slumber with the starkness of contrast of the naked trees – stripped like Christ before the crucifixion, head bowed and fate heavy upon His face. In these moments, the promise of the new Genesis of spring – the absolute renewal and all its implications – something we only believe by faith will occur.
Words and ideas – the importance of all those synapses firing and jumping – playing with the meaning and shadings – to admit only generically at the meanings… being allowed to explore the meaning that we at first only hint at and then, amazed by the truth of the situation, we begin to understand the full ramifications of what our words and ideas reveal of ourselves to another. How often do we wish we could “take back” our words – syllables said in the heat of a given moment which are at the core of the truth inside ourselves – – realizing that we have said too much only because we have been totally honest – and the light of absolution does not come from the other’s eyes – the ramifications of our deepest fears that we cannot undo the damage that has been done, while simultaneously knowing that speaking our truths are damaging to ourselves if left silent… the struggle to validate ourselves to be accepted as just who we are against the believe that no one will be willing, much less able, to accept us at that place.
I like words, the magic and the promises they convey – to explore or explain their sense of being and meaning- but I use them too much in an attempt to explore or explain my own sense of being and meaning – trying so diligently to come up with the “right” answers to life’s questions. For example, during a job interview, one is asked if one could trust someone who had lied to him/her… How can one answer in a simple “yes” or “no”? We as humans set out with good intentions, and no one else but each of us can be the scale by which we measure ourselves – to say that I wouldn’t trust someone would suggest that I have never lied — but to say that I wouldn’t trust that person is also to impose my own values on a situation of which I do not have full knowledge. And so, one hedges his/her bet by a rash of words explaining the thought process – because the words beyond “yes” or “no” are needed if we want to accurately convey that we just don’t know the answer, rather than admit that we don’t know the answer. Explanation and justification are rationalization at their best… rather than admit that we are more than the sum of parts known by a single answer…
I believe that words – read or spoken – can cause us to experience physical sensations. While often not nearly as intense as we may experience in other forms of stimulation, they still cause some depth of stirring. A well-written novel of mystery and suspense does, at critical times in the storyline, instill us to take a small gasp of breath, or blink our eyes; gory enough and some of us will shudder and make a face of distaste.
Anticipating the beginning of a book – postponing for a few moments the actual realization of the power formed by ink on paper, but for a moment, just a glance that it awaits us – understanding the potential of those words to touch us deeply, knowing of its ability to transport us to a place far outside ourselves, to be given the power to wander through another’s thought process…to capture a glimpse of a journey so much less mundane than our own existence – fiction or non, each compels us to explore another’s sense of perception, a way of thinking perhaps close or distant to our own. It matters not that we know the author personally, we shall still trust the written word in its entirety, believe in the places that we will travel by nature of those written words. No matter what the words are, no matter how great our need to escape to that place, listening closely, one can hear the voices as the story unfolds.
Words are needed to record for posterity the hopes and the failures of the treasures of life – past, present and future – to explain to what end we as individuals and as a society justify our means. As a society, we seek to avoid conflict yet continue to remain fully armed for it. So we do as individuals – on a smaller scale, but nonetheless – in some ways, our progress to avoid conflict is spurred on by our fear in our ability to conquer it. To conquer – to survive – to what ends do we seek the tools that will ensure our safety, be that safety real or imagined? Society retards the evolution of trust in a naïve, if not foolish, belief, we trust in a society that has no regard for trust. Yet, that society seeks to have us trust in it without question. So it is with us individually – by nature, we retard the evolution of trusting in another while simultaneously expecting that person’s blind trust in us. Trust is like an open letter that allows another to see us with little or no conscious thought or limitation placed upon the idea of emotions expressed – a pure stream of consciousness with no restraints or barriers. In the name of goodness in humanity, we push to be allowed the choice to accept another’s weaknesses while hiding our own….