the shape of words
So many things I should be doing. But I am here, alone, the house is quiet, and it is way too hot to do anything but read. And so I am on the couch, with berries and chocolate and a glass of red wine, reading. It is 6:00 o’clock in the evening. I am going to read until it is late, as late as I can stay awake.
I am reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which I have only just begun, but already, I am in love with it. In love. Edgar’s fascination with words mirrors my own, although I can speak, while he cannot. But I speak best when I write, when I can see the shape of the words on the page, hear the rhythm and the cadence in my mind. Words.
Two special people recommended this book to me, my daughter Kimberly, whose taste in books is so similar to mine, a remarkable girl who keeps surprising me with her insight and her generosity of spirit. And Debi, whose words I fell in love with right from the start, whose words are prose and poetry and painting and song all mixed up together.
Words. The poet in me has never stopped dreaming, though indeed, I left her sleeping far too long. Words were the first tool I ever used to create something. When I was thirteen, poems started flowing out of me, out of the blue. I had no idea, at the time, where they came from. Sometimes in a poem, I would use a word that I did not even know that I knew. A word I would have to go and look up, see what it meant and if I had used it correctly. Words that had embedded themselves in my subconscious and been forgotten. Golgotha was one such word. And yes, I had used it correctly.
I started reading the dictionary, just to look at all those words.
Words I have fallen in love with. Serendipity. Rapscallion. Avarice. Actually. Ranunculus. Fritillaria. I love words for the way they sound as much as for their meaning. I love the music they make when you string them together.
I love that the song I sing will always be different than the song you sing.
But both will be music.
I love words that sounds like what they mean. Sibilance. Gigantic. Phlegm. Still. Patina. End.
So many things I should be doing. But I sit here worshiping words. That has been my way, all my life. Words.
A picture painted with words is better than a painting for me. Because in my mind each word is its own brush stroke, set down one at a time, until suddenly I see what the writer is saying. Beautiful pictures that stay in my mind, my pictures. The next person reading will paint her own.
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