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Monday, May 31, 2010

Words Are All I Have

 
Some people would claim that words, carefully chosen and delicately placed on the page are nothing other than a human attempt to justify indefinable emotions and largely unproven intentions. To these people, words cannot express the stark feelings and inner connotations experienced in a world of physical reality. Their eyes read the words; however, no matter how well written, these words never strike purpose or change heart. In fact, after complete digestion, the reader receives no nourishment from the symbols, and they are expelled as just that -- used words.

Humans use words as written symbols of meaning to draw mainly favorable comments through writing, a systematic means of communication. When words fail, writers, at best, can compose metaphor or comparison to offer expression. For example, the unpleasant feeling of being caught in pelting rain is described by writer Enid Bagnold as the following: "The rain came down in long knitting needles." Metaphor draws upon comparison and sensory appeal to push its sensory power. It relies upon experience and imagination to unleash its effects.


Yet, what about those people without reference or without inclination to believe in words? All the skills and tools available to the writer are lost when cast upon those without reference. To put the predicament simple, these people answer problems, mistakes, and dilemmas with this statement: "Words are not going to get it done." They confess that the gap between damage and resolution is too large to expect symbols on paper (or speech) to have any positive effect. To them, words are, and will always be, just letters without feelings.

All of us have reached such a point in our lives when human interpretation has failed. The heart opens; the brain calculates; and the words expel. But, the spirit of another wages complete rejection. Words slam into these brick walls of nonacceptance until any further advance is folly and the author sounds retreat. Lying broken and ineffective, these shapeless words lose all future recognition and expire.The symbols were doomed from their conception due to the total insulation of reception by someone else.


I do feel sorry for those who have never experienced total rejection. It strengthens the foundation of the believers of words. They understand the helplessness of human situations that seem to require communication for resolution. Rejected believers of words experience loneliness in all its various ebony shades and hidden states. They, without peers of similar rejection, are capable of feeling utter helplessness in request and supplication. As their reality caves in around them, they fear less because their own words serve to comfort them while others refuse to change.

I believe that some wisdom does exist in the "words are just words" profundity. "Have a nice day" and "How are you?" are examples of exchanges of meaningless verbal daily pleasantries. And just as tragic as a written "I love you" in a one-way affair, similar sacred words are abused and misused on a regular basis. Some words are written as valueless ornaments void of purpose. They occupy pages much as wasted minutes occupy time.

Still, I value the power of words. I view words as the means to keep this civilization and any future civilizations from total devastation. How could I discount the deepest uttering of a human heart or the most calculated measurement of a human brain? Even when incapable of communicating emotion and intention, I find myself turning to words for expression. I wish that others might understand snags and faults in the process because I lack the necessary precision to supply often-desired perfection, a perfection that will remain unattainable.

"Words are alive; cut them and they bleed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson



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