“the pen is mightier than the sword”
well, of course it is. the sword was created for one thing only, destroy. the pen…words can both destroy or create. words can contain incredible power. words can be used to decimate, dominate, debilitate & bring you to your knees. once you’ve hit the floor, some words can then pound you into it. words can trigger fight or flight, but without strength, nor wings to fly, i suppose i’d prefer the sword. words can bring joy, love, trust. words spoken with great wisdom, can bring you to your knees, in awe.
he looks wise. i suppose we were all born like this monkey. our parents spoke babble, then words of love. then words to teach. school takes us further with language, giving us the tools to survive in this world. does it end there? is this as high as we can go?
“What do you read, my lord?” Polonius asks.
“words, words, words” answers Hamlet (he wasn’t reading, he was making another point…Polonius thought him mad at the time)
the musician combines words with notes that can resinate with incredible power. the screenwriter can use words to tell powerful stories & directors use those words & give them visual power. words made into movies. some can be powerful enough that you can, “walk in another man’s shoes.” the writer or storyteller will prove there is magic in this world. the storyteller can take us out of time & place, we can travel, see sights. we can be brave & powerful to battle evil or show you what real love is.
i surround myself with all these words. given to me by amazing artists. i look for meaning in every word i read in books, or listen to in movies or while i dance across my living room (usually with a dusting cloth). i have found wisdom in unlikely places. i found the words that put my confusion, as to a puzzle, i’d been struggling to find an answer to. you know where i found it? “how to train your dragon 2” i may not remember verbatim..but i took this into me.
“a man who wages war for no reason, cannot be reasoned with”
ahh, the key to my puzzle, the struggle for an answer found in the most unlikely place. but it was an storyteller who wrote the words spoken on the screen.
when i wish to escape my life for a time, i read historical fiction. the author must have the architecture, the clothing, the weather, the landscape…the words must be right to take me there. the story may focus on human beings, but if i know not where they stand, then my imagination cannot take me there. the words must weave magic. i search for words to inspire me, lend me strength, courage & humor. i look for words to teach me how to speak with whit-quick & sharp. i steal these things…the words on the page. i try to apply them to my own life. to become more than what i am.
more than what i am. another’s words can become a part of me. i have read thousands of books (read all my parents books before the age of 15…wow. “fear of flying” was…umm scary. i read Dante’s Inferno in the Harvard classics, that wasn’t as scary) i’ve always been a compulsive reader…the kid who reads every word on the cereal box. that is me. i am grateful for this thirst for words, whether they be fiction or not. i read the people magazine (i refuse to buy) at the doctor’s office. i read the manual tucked into the seat in front of my own, when i take flight-for real. i read the poster on the dentist office wall, “Hang in there” with the orange tabby kitten hanging on to the branch. i know other people are searching for answers too. people have quotes taped around their desks at work. words that had some how lifted them when they need/needed to be. words that lift their spirit, perhaps give them courage or wisdom…like the words, “if life gives you lemons…i forget the rest.
i have a favorite by a little known author…
“The world breaks everyone and afterword many are strong at the broken places” ~Ernest Hemingway
BOOM. words can bring us to our knees & some words still lower. but they are just words. those words spoken with rage or hate…can they be washed off? Hate, Racism, sexism, sexual orientation, mean words…can we ever wash them off? no, they cannot, they become part of who you are. we make the choice to take the words. just like the lyrics of a love song, or a favorite author’s quote. words add up inside of us & make us who we are. WHO WE ARE. present tense. because yesterday there were fewer words read or heard & tomorrow, there will be more. if you are smart enough to search for them.
when the anger is over, when we are alone. we could learn to reinvent our new self today. how do you cover up those wounds caused by words of another?
well, that would depend on who you are today.
we can lose ourselves to a brilliant storyteller. or if you find words, spoken by actors in your favorite movie, then pop the corn & turn up the volume. i use all three. the day before yesterday, it was a marathon of Harrison Ford (gosh, i’d love to kiss the scar on his chin) movies. before that it was fiction. (i spent a few hours in rainy, Dorset, England…the year was 1817) last night i watched Sherlock again (too many times to admit) oh, what John Watson says to Mary, “The problems of your past are your business, the problems of your future…are my privilege” swoon.
to be loved like that. or to love like that…some days we own it, others we feel lost. they are moments linked together, our own stories, of being knocked down & then pulling ourselves back up.
today i found memories in music. i found joy. “dance a blue streak across the living room” i forgot the name of the song (sorry brilliant man) every time i hear this line, in his song…i see me, younger. i am holding one of my babies, i am singing while the babe in arms is laughing…and drooling. i liked who i was then. we danced a blue streak across the living room.
today, i danced.
today, i woke up my teenage daughter by diving into her bed with my iPhone playing an Ed Sheeran song, (UNI) until she begged me to stop. but i stood fast, demanding that i end my serenade with Ed’s final words of sad wisdom. i timed them perfectly. her head buried under heavy blankets (in august, in alabama) i tell her i have to end it on a perfect note (ha! a pun!) i snuggle close & sing with him…
“because if you want, i’ll take you in my arms (i did) & keep you sheltered from all that i’ve done wrong (lots) & i know you’ll say that i’m the only one, but i know that God made another one of me to love you better than i ever will…” 😦
“Geez, Soph, no one will love you better than i ever will…they will love you different, than i ever will”
“UUUuuugh, get out, Mooooommmmmmm”
i thought it was a great way to wake her up (brat). She thinks Ed Sheeran is lame, because her old mom loves him. She may have found it irritating (payback, you’re welcome) but i know i created a memory that will become a part of who she is.
she has seen me low. all my children have. they’ve seen my face covered with a book and a nook and an iPad. they’ve seen me on my knees, but they’ve watched me get up over & over again.
after i left her, i heard another song. one i’ve danced to, painted to w/o ever hearing the words. the music was always stronger for me then the lyrics. but not today. today i HEARD them & they brought me to my knees.
BOOM. Boom. boom.
OneRepublic, I Lived. Ryan Tedder wrote the words for his two year old son.
but, thankfully, he gave the song to the masses. i hope the people who hear what he says…i hope they use his words to become part of who they are too…
the expression “brought to your knees” can mean two different things-it can only be done with immensely powerful words, spoken with hate, and with great, great awe inspiring love.
words harm & they heal. words that when heard at the right time, in the right place…they can change you. the building blocks of who we were yesterday, who we are today, who we may become tomorrow, are words. we can decide to become stronger, we can decide to look for courage. we can look for validation. or we can choose to stop growing as a person & believe that this is all we will ever be.
i do hope when i get knocked down, that i’ll continue to reach for my stories, movies or music that will get me back up.
so that i can dance.
i leave you with the lyrics of “I Lived” by OneRepublic…
“Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall. Hope when the water rises, you built a wall. Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name. Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay.
Hope that you fall in love, and it hurt so bad. The only way you can know is give it all you have. And i hope that you don’t suffer, but take the pain. Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say…
I, i did it all. I, i did it all. I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places, the things i did. with every broken bone, i swear i lived.
Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up. and when the sun goes down, hope you raise your cup. Oh, I wish that i could witness all your joy & all your pain. But until my moment comes, I’ll say…I, i did it all.”