Today, I find myself at a crossroads. I began yesterday with the intent of exploring the deep wounds left by incidents in 2011. Wounds I am still recovering from. Emotional wounds caused by words. Words dripping with caustic acid. Emotional lye thrown onto the unwitting victim. Leaving scars. Gaping wounds. Words that caused severe latent physical affects which I cope with on a daily basis. Disabilities. Disconnects. Leaving me among the walking wounded.
Yet, I have inadvertently tapped into a very deep well. A well rich in content and contrast. A well which deserves to be explored and brought out into the open. Pail by pail. Some pails to be discarded into the sewage. Other to serve as refreshing. Like a cool glass of water on a hot summer day. Some will water and nourish plants, causing their roots to go down deep and allow the plants to develop a deep root system deep into the nourishing earth to stand by them in times of sustained drought. To draw sustenance from deep within.
Or have I tapped into what appeared on the surface to be a shallow gold vein only to find it much richer and fuller than I expected, branching off in different directions. Which direction should I follow? Which vein will yield the most gold? The most value? Or should I explore one a time? Plumb the depths until they are extinguished then proceed on to a different vein?
Or should I tap until all the veins at random times as I see fit? Will I find richness? Or fool's gold? Only further exploration will tell. (Of course, with a blog when I find I'm going in a dead end, I can simply press the delete button and start over on another tact. In real life, there are no delete buttons.)
In this vein, I find myself musing on words. Their uses - good and bad. We use them to wound. We also use them to encourage. To communicate. Communication with other homo sapiens could not exist if we did not have words. Even if we grunted and pointed at an object or objects, we would still be pointing at an object that has a word, a name attached to it.
Newspapers, books, blogs, essays, you name it, all have words attached to them. They wouldn't exist without words.
At left are pictures I took of signs etc. which took my fancy while on a trip to Scotland in 2009. Again words. I was fascinated by the words used in Scotland. Different words than we use in Canada and North America.
Words. I go to a small yarn shop for knitting instructions. The instructor uses words to convey her meaning. She also patiently shows me how to make the stitch. Her primary means of communication is words. The pattern is written in words. Words to convey meaning. Knit this many. Purl this many. Row 1 do this. Row 2 do that. Und so weiter... (translated: and so on....) The pattern may use diagrams and abbreviations, but they all go back to the primary format of words. Words convey meaning.
I go to the rec centre for an aquafit class. The instructor uses words punctuated by motions to instruct us on the current exercise. The motions describe the words. Not the other way around.
Words in speech can be used the same way. Or they cannot. We choose what words to say. When to say them. We choose whether the words will be negative or positive. We choose whether to build up or tear down a person. We choose what we say and to whom we say it. We choose. Always the choice is ours. Always.
We must live with our choices. We must live with the results of them. So must others.
I live with the choices of words made by many people significant in my life at one time or another: parents, friends, peers, teachers, managers. Even people on the street or in the mall.
Life and death are in the power of the tongue.