Words Matter

Words are how we communicate with each other. Our thoughts take the form of words and we speak them. Words are how we speak to ourselves. We think in the language of our culture. And words can paint pictures in the imagination. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only you know what those words are. So each picture is worth all the words that all the viewers of that picture can conjur in their imagination. Yet, words/language can be tricky. One can misunderstand words. Can one misunderstand a picture? Of course.  Art and literature both have limits. Yet, along with music, they are the only means we have to tell our stories. I tend to overlook the risks and indulge in expressing my story as best I can.

“For me, language is a freedom. As soon as you have found the words with which to express something, you are no longer incoherent, you are no longer trapped by your own emotions, by your own experiences; you can describe them, you can tell them, you can bring them out of yourself and give them to somebody else. That is an enormously liberating experience, and it worries me that more and more people are learning not to use language; they’re giving in to the banalities of the television media and shrinking their vocabulary, shrinking their own way of using this fabulous tool that human beings have refined over so many centuries into this extremely sensitive instrument. I don’t want to make it crude, I don’t want to make it into shopping-list language, I don’t want to make it into simply an exchange of information: I want to make it into the subtle, emotional, intellectual, freeing thing that it is and that it can be.” ~ Jeanette Winterson