Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I’ve been thinking a lot about the eternal script of the universe and words. There are people who hold a lot of reverence for the word, written or otherwise. And there are some who don’t feel that strongly about words. I can see both sides, but as a writer I am certainly on the sidelines with a big ‘W’ on my uniform.
But I’d like to muse on words for a moment. So let’s take the opposite viewpoint, to start. What’s the problem with words? There’s the issue of language and not being able to express the same ideas/thoughts in the same way. English can have less depth to it's language compared to others, so as an English speaker I definitely understand the suspicion that there are certain things you simply can’t express in words as well as you can in non-verbal communication. 
An example of one of the other languages that has different depth is Kanji. There are many symbols that don’t mean one word, but embody an entire concept. 認 - this symbol means ‘to notice, or to judge’. It’s clear that noticing and judging could mean very different things as well as relate to the same situation, so this symbol inhabits a large space of possible definitions/contexts. And there are other words that represent an idea but don’t literally mean what the symbols ‘say’. 米国 means ‘rice country’ but refers to ‘United States of America’. Kanji is able to encompass a wider span of human experience since it doesn’t simply construct long sentences with individual words that mean only literally what they say. It gives you a concept and you can interpret it to whatever depth is appropriate for your personal self. We can’t be outside of ourselves so interpretation based on our lives/experience is our most accurate possible experience of the universe. 
What English does offer, though, is the ability to re-work grammar and offer different ways of expressing thoughts - sarcasm, irony, satire, metaphor, etc. Wit certainly calls ideas of human nature loudly and powerfully into existence. 
Definitely it’s about impact. The issue I have, which is why it is common to believe language isn’t as powerful as other forms of expression (i.e. music, painting) is that people forget how much of an impact words can actually have on the universe. It’s easy to ramble, to just talk about nothing - it doesn’t really expend that much energy and there’s a satisfaction in hearing yourself prove your existence. It would be quite a different experience if when words left your mouth, you actually felt the weight of them. 
Imagine for a second: those things that are painful or deeply honest are spoken into the world with the intention of being more authentic to yourself or to others. They fall from your mouth and sink into Mother Earth, as water from a rainfall. They enrich the universe and existence is better off, that they've been said. THEN, imagine speaking in anger, defense and fear - those words shoot out of your mouth directly into the heart of the person you are speaking to. Or it hits them in the head, knocking them over, ricochets off their body and pinballs through all of the people nearby. These words are weapons. And once they impale their target and bounce around for a bit, they disperse into the air, polluting the sky with a mass of irrationality, lies, unwarranted negativity, unrecognized anger, etc. 
Paints a bit of a different picture. 
When I say something irrational, or I get triggered and start defending myself, not because I believe in what I’m saying but because I’m in some sort of mutated survival mode, the words that escape my mouth just FEEL wrong. Many times I know, as I’m saying them, that what I’m giving to the universe is certainly no gift - I am spewing trash into the perfect chaotic beauty of the universe. Of course the universe can handle it, but why should I want to choose to invoke a de-evolution of the universe rather than constant evolution, and growth? 
When I say something correctly, it clicks into place like it was always meant to be there. And in those moments I know I am furthering myself as a human, and I’m furthering the universe. I only want to offer into the world words that are powerful, honest, and truly worth saying. Of course it won’t always happen, but even vigilance makes a difference. If everyone was truly vigilant, words could regain their status, and sit alongside the other weighted forms of expression. And certainly I think that if you combine more than one form of expression there is a potential for an incredible gift to be offered. 

It's really all about intention. If any form of communication is offered with authentic intention- even negativity, pain and struggle have their place if people understand what it is and why they are offering it into the universe- it's valid and beautiful. 

I love words. And I deeply love music. Both can reach into the soul of a person, bring forth their purest essence and help them experience the fullness of their being in the universe’s unconditional embrace. That’s where my inspiration and intention lies. 

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