The Write Word
I believe in words. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than the varied arrangements of letters which communicate thoughts, ideas and experiences. I love the way written languages are able to survive the passage of time while their spoken counterparts occasionally lie dormant and forgotten.
Since I was little, I’ve loved books. I’ve loved reading them and learning what each author has to teach me, be it fact or fiction. At the library, no matter how weary I may be from daily routine, I will demurely sit on my knees and shelve the words of children’s authors attempting to share life’s lessons in a succinct compilation of words to impatient youth. Some administrations don’t consider my efforts community service, but in my heart I don’t mind. I am content, because the words of the authors are safely imprinted in my brain, already in the correct order, spelling out their messages.
I love how the smell of words clash in a bookstore. Each word possesses a distinct scent, and they come together in a fragrant blend that smells of opportunity, despite the antagonizing odors of some words, like acrid which smells like bile and incandescent which smells like the green light that hits the sea just before sunset. Words are individual, essential. They add spontaneity to intelligence and characterize writing of any kind.
But words have failed me too. Sometimes I can’t label an emotion I’m feeling, a sensation I’m experiencing. Sometimes, I’m at a loss for words. Sometimes no words can heal me, and all I can do is sit silently, staring at the blank wall across the room, wondering when the name for the sensation will come to me, when the experience will be stopped. Know your fears, they say. But can you know something without clearly defining what it is?
I believe in definitions too, since they too are words, more or less. These words are clarifying words, explanatory words. They are kind and sympathetic in nature; they aim to help those willing to seek knowledge. These words know that humans and words don’t always mesh. Some humans mesh with numbers better than words, and some humans, who only mesh with words, will not mesh with numbers. But in today’s society that grows slowly more and more obsessed with brevity and minimalism, the power that words hold grows less and less influential. In today’s society, those with a way with words are not always appreciated. Instead, the numerically inclined are often guaranteed both economic and social security.
Although my rational side sometimes grows fearful of the fact that perhaps I should try to believe more in numbers, I still believe in words. I still believe in sentences, in paragraphs, in essays, in stories, in books. I believe in writing. I believe in the arcs and the tilts and the tails and the straight, upright nature of letters. I believe in all the wisdom these silent ink marks can give.
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