Words are Never at a Loss for Words
Words love me best when I leave them alone, when I stop poking and prodding and allow them to arrange themselves.
Words have a taste, sweet but subtle, like dark chocolate; the scent of old bookshops; a flamenco rhythm; the feeling of the rain on your face on sunny days. Words are cruel and spiteful sometimes, wise and loving at others.
Words know that there is always the right word and no other word will do. Words believe in brevity – the soul of wit, said Shakespeare, a man never at a loss for words.
Words hate to waste energy. If you can’t find the right word, don’t look for it. It will find you. The right word at the right time stops wars, cures heartaches, mends bridges, sweeps away barriers.
Words want to be sampled, relished, remembered; they need breathing space in the shape of commas, colons, semi-colons and full stops. Words are individual. They are content to string along together in sentences and paragraphs, but remain mavericks, outsiders beyond the crowd, the mob, the gang. A long novel begins with the first word.
Words are forceful but fair, feminine, flexible, yet solid, strong, dependable. Words are multi-cultural, without prejudice. They believe in freedom, equality, equanimity. If a word were a man he’d be a man of his word.
Words Maketh Man
In the beginning there was the word and the word was good. The word was healthy. The word civilized our barbarous precursors. After man had taught himself to make tools, he grew crops to feed himself and stored or traded the surplus. He needed to keep records and used the sharp edge of an axe to mark tokens fired in a kiln to confirm the exchange, a form of writing that started 12,000 years ago in the Zagros Mountains in Mesopotamia, present day Iraq, Syria and Iran. Words have a sense of irony.
It took thousands of years for the marks on clay tokens to develop into pictograms to represent quantities, time frames, commodities. The word was born and the scribes in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, were crucial figures because they had the gift of words.
Man turned his tools to architecture, painting and sculpture, but we know more of classical civilizations than the ruins they left by the words of the philosophers and dramatists, Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Virgil, Ovid, Bukhari; the words of the poets that resonate still.
A picture may describe a 1000 words but it will often need 1000 words to describe a picture.