Oh troubling words!

An uneasy love affair

“It is dangerous to leave written that which is badly written. A chance word, upon paper, may destroy the world. Watch carefully and erase, while the power is still yours, I say to myself, for all that is put down, once it escapes, may rot its way into a thousand minds, ...” ~ William Carlos Williams, Paterson

To be a writer is to love them. How can we not?

And yet, they betray us.

We write them and there’s a freedom in the expression of them that can’t be matched. We always long for more. It exhilarates.

And yet, our stories are made of them. Even as we sense something beyond their horizon, it moves when we move. The chase won’t end, unless we find a way to leave their atmosphere. Can we?

“You have my word,” s/he said. A promise. A commitment. Something precious and worthy of trust.

And yet, I didn’t. Better to say “actions speak louder than words”.

“The power to create” gives them their breath. Words change minds, build worlds and alter lives. With one word, a day can be made. A few more brings smiles and laughter. Such gratitude … and responsibility.

Because they can hurt and damage in away that lingers longer than a bullet.

“Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.” ~ Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me

Keyword. Password. Watchword. They give us access and open our eyes to places, information, thoughts and ideas that expand our experience and understanding.

And yet, we are forever behind their bars. Words are thoughts are words.

Before the word, was there a thought?


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Let’s chase that shifting horizon together.

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