lovely, Jacquie, and very evocative....words!
PS: feel free to join and put this in the Turquoise Tribe group list of articles: http://biznik.com/groups/turquoise-tribe.
But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
—Lord Byron, English poet, Don Juan, 1819
History cites the first written language about 3100 BCE in Sumer (located in present day Iraq). We have words to live by, words to capture your attention, to break your heart, to make your day. As a writer, I live with words and am conscious of the impact of words. Thoughts are nebulous until the words are realized on paper; then the thought becomes viable, something that can be as sharp as a razor or as comforting as a blanket.
The human heart, fist- shaped, weighs between nine to eleven ounces, yet can feel like a two-ton rock sinking to the bottom of the soul; the human brain, our complex, neurological computer, weighs on the average about three pounds, yet can be as empty as a blank screen. It is words that give the human organs weight that cannot be quantified, but always qualified.
Words have the power to transform lives, heal, destroy and shape civilizations. Philosophers, poets, scribes, all writers throughout history, have left us words to live by, words to instruct the students, to teach children the ways of the tribe, even the how-to manuals of our daily lives. The power of word is greater than any machine, for a machine may move a mountain only if the operator knows how to use it. If the scale records a loss of ten pounds, I am ecstatic, light-hearted; but if I have gained, I feel heavy-hearted. Love can make me light-headed, but a lover’s rejection can lay heavy on my mind. The written words of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Christ, Buddha, Marx, Sarte, Lord Byron, Sappho, Coleridge, Neruda, Emily Dickenson, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, Ellison, Dickens, to name just a very few great minds, have had immeasurable influence on our personal and political lives. The Bible, Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Machiavelli’s The Prince, The Constitution of the United States, have changed the course of history and molded civilizations.
Climbing down that epic ladder onto my own lawn, I am painfully aware of how my words affect others. A careless, critical, remark can sever a tenuous link between mother and daughter; a sharp rebuke has shattered a friendship, and perhaps most damaging of all is silence, the lack of words, the shunning of another, when wordless becomes a brick wall. On the opposite side of that is that joyful silence, stunned by beauty or an act so full of love that it leaves one speechless. My heart can sing, my brain can rhapsodize eloquently, or my heart can whisper listen, listen. I save and re-read cards I get all year, savoring the kind words of friends and family. I understand why people have always kept letters stashed away, because one cannot just throw out those precious jewels that are words written from one special person to another. Everyday I hope that it is my best I give, my words kinder than I may have thought yesterday, just in case someone takes it to heart and carries that careless remark like a stone weight. And perhaps, one drop of ink can make me think.
Learn more about the author, Jacquie Ream.
Very nice, well said. Or should I say well written.
WoW! I am so glad this was posted in the weekly article review E-mail.
You definately have a Weigh with Words and the arrangement you have composed here carries with it a resounding impact.
This is brilliantly written. I went back for a second read just to savor the language!
This was a powerful reminder of the Weigh of Words. A beautifully written article that challenged me to Weigh my words today.
A wise man once said "there is the power of life and death in the tongue" and I want to speak words of life. Thank you for the reminder!
Your writing is eloquent and beautiful and your message is strong.
Thank you! Jen
Jackie- I'm so impressed with this article that I'd likeyour permission to quote a sentence or two in my monthly newsletter for writers. Patrika