Friday, December 23, 2011

Searching for a more intimate relationship with words

The power of a word is undeniable. Verbal and written communication is an essential driving force behind all great civilizations. To say a person does not possess an intimate relationship with words would equate to branding the poor soul a specimen lower than primitive--basically declaring them animalistic. While such a person may exist, they are not common to structured society.

From the time of infancy, words--the oral and visual symbols of language--become a thing of thought. That is to say, words begin to define our thoughts as they give shape and texture to our cognitive development. In short, it is impossible not to have an intimate relationship with words simply because all words in one's vocabulary eventually come to embody a set of experiences and feelings so strongly attached to our psyche that the two cannot, without extreme difficulty, be separated. For example--think of the word mother. In the flash of an instant a lifetime of memories, both good and bad, are played like a filmstrip through the mind. For myself, I think of the bond between a daughter and her mother. The fights and the friendship. The punishments and sweet rewards. Of baking cookies on Sunday and cuddling up to watch movies. I think of the quiet conversations, of secrets revealed. It is a word that I consider with fondness and contentment. However, others may have a set of negative feelings tied to the word. This case is true with most words, as each person will have an attachment unique to their own life experiences.

Though I recognize that an intimate relationship with words is something I already have, I want more. My passion for language and the artistic qualities of the written word have led me on a quest for a more intimate relationship with words. Where this will lead me, I do not know, but I will search for meaningful texts, quotes, and textual images that speak to my emotions and instill meaning in my life. I invite you to share this journey with me, and share your own discoveries.

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