About Words

Everything changes. When I began this blog, I thought that I would be uniting words with colors. Each word would have a color, a definition, and the story to go with it. I guess I felt at the time that I would never touch on political or social issues. As an African-American woman in a time of extraordinary change — um — that’s not possible. My life is an arc of political and social experience. It’s what I was born to.

However, the basic concept of this blog has not changed. And that is — palm to palm with you, I’m going to live life by dancing with  words through stories; sometimes through comments; on occasion through reflection. Will you join me?  It’s a spiritual practice of sorts:  like prayer on a page.

Words have color. Words have vision. Words have power..

We use words. That’s it. Whether we are mute, deaf, blind or otherwise physically incapacitated; whether we are black or white, red or brown, we use words; whether we are French, American, African, or Eskimo, we use words.

Words bring out the wrinkle in an elderly person’s hands, the wetness in a lover’s kiss, the comfort in a family holiday,  the jealousy and misguided actions of haters.

Words have color. Words have vision. Words have power.

Power: Words have two intentions. They help or they harm. Do we know that each of us is endowed with extraordinary power to heal or to harm with our words?

Color:  Words are not blah. Words promote feelings. Feelings are the colors in our words. What feelings do we intend to promote? Good feelings or bad?

Vision: Words create a vision of how we see the world. Oh yes, this is true. If the world is scary to us, it’s because our words tell us that it is scary. If the world is loving to us, it’s because we’ve created a vision of love with our words.

The magical power of language will never get old.  Every day we create significant worlds and consequences, pleasant and unpleasant, by our use of language.  We tell stories and people laugh, cry or contemplate their lives and the lives of those around them.  Folks are healed through language; language put to poetry, to music, to speeches, to theatre, and even to creative advertising.

Each one of us knows, on some level, that how we use language matters.  We make choices.  A former manager of mine once said that after a traumatic event she had sworn to God to never have another unexpressed thought.

This is really not a good idea.

I want to use this blog to tell stories and anecdotes, but when I think a little deeper, it’s  that I want to contribute to an expanding awareness of how we use words.  I’m no scholar, but I know that the cacophony of fear that’s coming from the media and journalists, fundamentalist religious groups and their leaders — Christian or otherwise — pundits and sociologists is contributing to depression, hopelessness, and a lack of compassion.  Words have color.  Words have vision. Words have power.  I believe that what we say, for better or for worse, literally goes from our lips to God’s ears because the essence of God is within every heart.

God hears through the heart.

(Thank you, Liz, for the header.  You rock!)

3 responses to “About Words

  1. True, I agree definitely have to agree with this… It’s just too bad that not everyone knows what the power of it… A lot of fighting happens because of misunderstandings, of lack of communication… well, i hope one day everyone will realize the power of words….

  2. Yay! I have recently re-ignited a special relationship with words, and it has got me all lit up from the inside! Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. This is how I feel reading your post: happy and hopeful.

    Grace is when God’s ears hear the words that are oceans beneath my wavy words. She hears the calm, lucid words emerging from the depths. Words like, “Yes, I’m reaching for the light. I am worshiping in every moment. I am almost home, I can taste it.”

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