Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hello, words. I've missed you.

Words. Subtly shaping scenes or brazenly baring broken lives; coldly cutting to the core or whimsically weaving wishes. Beauty; ugliness; pain; love; forgiveness; entrapment. Art. The beauty of words lies in their truth; or perhaps it is their beauty that reveals their truth. And in that truth, the purity and simplicity of naked words - yet neither of those is truth; so, then, perhaps words also are lies.

Words manipulate, they trick. Words make the sinister seem scrupulous; the magnificent, mundane.

To craft words is to know words; to wield words wildly or willfully. A bit of both brings clarity - though sometimes opacity - with a dash of style, a pinch of wit and just a bit of poetry. Inspiration isn't charity.

Stripped of ornamentation, words are just as powerful. Tell a story with adjectives not adverbs. Describe the city by what you see - sidewalks cluttered with construction and pedestrians; white-and-black cabs and rusty motorbikes vie for space in crowded streets; a sandy haze settled low on a horizon of dusty rooftops - and others will see it, too.

Yet words are a capricious craft: the wrong word will rend and raze and render meaningless what was painstakingly built, purposefully created. The wrong word sits heavily, awkwardly, marring hate as fully as joy; loathing diluted to dislike, euphoria whittled away to simple synonyms of happiness and contentment.

Words are used and abused; cultivated and created. Words are a necessity; words are a luxury. They gather together and tear apart and stand between. Written or scribbled or intricately painted; crooned, whispered, shouted, spoken, sung. Intransigent. Maleable. Uncompromising. Submissive.

Hello, words. I've missed you.

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