Words, words, words . . .
Those we speak and those we withhold
I play with words.
I’ve had this harmless (at least I think so) addiction for as long as I remember. The smell intoxicated me as the teacher passed out our new books. What stories, wonders, and adventures lie hidden between the covers?
The most marvelous book held all the magic my young mind could imagine—a dictionary. I scanned row after row, column after column, page after page of words to learn, to use, to create, to speak, and to keep in secret.
Words have power, and so does silence. I learned words can scathe and burn a hole in your heart. Syllables uttered in whispers taught me that some words were better left tucked away in dark corners. Still, others bathed me in warm sunshine and wrapped my skin in layers of comfort, longing, peace, and love.
As an inveterate keeper of words, I make lists of favorite words. As a reader and writer, I discovered how the placement and choice of words change everything.
Anton Chekhov famously advised writers, “Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” I keep a notebook of luscious phrases and images conjured in a writer’s mind that pierce the ordinary with wonder.
A few to savor:
“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
—Tennessee Williams, “The Glass Menagerie”
“She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.”
—Neil Gaiman, Stardust
“…one of them sat before her in a dress so loud it embarrased the needlepoint chair seat.”
—Toni Morrison, Beloved
Most people don’t become overly exuberant about words and phrases, but we all have favorite sayings that pop up in our daily conversation. My Mother reminded me “Just be yourself.” I still hear these words that first reverberated from my dad, “close the drawers” or “doors,” or cabinets.”
I think I heard the last one just the other day.
Words. Make them count, and keep them sweet. Life needs more gentleness.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Thoughts and poetic words on new beginnings and hope.
This two-minute video exemplifies how the same words change perspective.
Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.
“The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
Listen for those words that bring you joy. Keep a list. Speak kindly.
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