Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sneaky Words

Lately I've been thinking about words.

Duh, you say.  Isn't that what you writer people think about all the time?  Isn't that what you, like, DO?

Well, yeah.  But I mean I've really been thinking about words.  Sneaky little bastards.

See, words can let you down. The words, they hang back when you want 'em most.  They play coy when you really need them to put on a big show, to SAY exactly what you want them say.  You stumble over them,  they twist up in your ankles and make you feel clumsy, inept, inarticulate.

Like small naughty children, they run away from you.  Or, they can get all stopped up in your head like a toddler refusing to potty train, and then, hoo boy - all hell can break loose when they finally do get out. Everyone around for a 40 foot radius is sorry when that happens.

The words, they hang around in your head doing gymnastics:  first carefully choreographed into this sentence, then into that one, then flipped around with all the words in different order. Then, pile 'em all up and watch them collapse into a heap of garbled nonsense when it's time for the big show.

Sometimes, sometimes, the words play double agent.  They attack with slicing dicing precision,  they say exactly what you had in your head, they escape with a will of their own, and wreak surgically accurate havoc.  Before you know it, you've scorched the territory around you with the words you used, so helpless were you in their power-driven onslaught.  Betrayed, you are - betrayed by the megalomaniacal words.

But oh, the mystical moments of transcendence:  the fleeting seconds when the words become your lovers, do your bidding, understand your every intention, want to please.  They band together, they create something so much bigger than they are individually.  They create chemistry, magic, intoxication.   They bare your heart in all the right places, they lift you up beyond yourself, make you know what it is to be Better.

This is why we write, us writing people.  Looking for those words that make us - and you, when you read them - Better.  Bigger.  Best.


Cheryl said...

Lovely. And true. Beautiful, too.

However, and let me preface this by saying you know that I'm really 12, I couldn't help thinking of the Beavis and Butthead episode where they're trying to read something and they just say "Words words words words."

katdish said...

Exactly. Always enjoy coming here.

Duane Scott said...

I love this. Do you have twitter? I'm going to share this with my website. Thanks! You'll see it on the left hand side.

Anonymous said...

Some social constructivists believe that reality is only experienced through language. We language our experience and our experience is ultimately what we have committed through the act of "language-ing". Rather sobering for those of us who play with words quite often. Lovely piece Ms. K. Thanks.

Scooper said...

Okay one more thing (besides the fact that I left a comment on your next-to-the-most-recent post), I just read your "about" section and I think we might be related. Just a thought.

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