as it sometimes does, many things fill my head. One of the purest and most beautiful of all are the words. They fill my head, my heart, my soul and my spirit. All kinds of words. Work-related ones, home related ones; words about family and friends, dreams and possibilities. Words about art and music, about fantasy, reality and the fine line between the two. There are words about people, about things and about places I’ve yet to go. There is something wonderfully relaxing about the music that words make. And music they do make. Their own rhythm, sometimes with a passion that transcends generations and makes them timeless. I have yet to stumble upon the generation transcending string of words, but it is early yet.
I have mentioned before, I’m fairly sure, that my Mamaw Daphne first inspired my love of words. She, who believed in the adage touting that “knowledge is power”, forced me to look at words differently. She made me see them for what they were and started me on the path of word appreciation. They weren’t simply words to me anymore, but a tangible thing that I could feel, speak and interpret if I but took the time to listen. The love of putting words together in poems and journals, thoughts jotted down and life preserved through their magic; that came from my father’s mother, Granny Minton.
My dad once told me, when I was unable to spell the word “beautiful”, that if I was going to use words, I had better know how to spell them and what they meant. An echo of what I learned early on from my Mother’s mother. I learned to spell it and all the other words I wanted to use.
The third, and possibly the most encouragingly fulfilling of all of my word experiences came in my Senior year of high school. I had to have one more English elective and I had already taken all of the available “traditional” English courses. I looked over my choices and decided on Creative Writing. When I walked into the room the first day, there was one word on the blackboard (we still used blackboards then). The teacher, Mrs. Campbell, likely my favorite teacher ever, said to the class “30 minutes. that’s how much time you have to make a story out of the word”. I finished mine in fifteen. The word was “adorned” and I never made less than an A in that class. After the mid-term, in which the words on the board were “Charlie’s Bar and Grill”, she asked me where I came up with my story that had earned an A+. I didn’t have the courage to admit that it had come from my own head, my imagination, my secret world … so I lied. I told her that it was similar to an experience I had been through. Not true. I wonder where my life may have led had I believed enough in myself and my imagination to tell her the truth.
At this point, that is neither here nor there. What is important is that words never left me. They followed me and surrounded me through the wonderful times as well as the not-so-wonderful times. There really is no substitute for them … not photography, not music, not art. The symphony they sing stirs within my heart, mind, spirit and soul before it is played out with letters and punctuation; that, in itself, is priceless beyond description. I am blessed beyond … well, beyond words.