While helping teachers clean out classrooms last week in preparation for the new school year, I came across one of those sets of magnetic words. The kind you put on your refrigerator and move around to create messages or sayings. This set included the usual I, we, am, is, are, and some dynamic words like empower, compassionate, inspire, and dedicated.
No one claimed it so I took it home, broke apart all the words and stuck them to my studio file cabinet. I haven’t made any sentences, but the words are now a part of my personal space. They catch my eye whenever I sit down to write. They have power. I’m drawn to them.
They are a great reminder to me that words matter. Alone or strung together. Whether they’re thoughts, written, spoken, or sung, we’ve all been moved by words. Moved to tears, to rally, to defend, to action. We are stung by words, too, insulted, betrayed, compromised.
Words can be easy to say, ones that come with out much thinking, like greetings, compliments or complaints. Others weigh heavily. Like loads that burden our minds or dropped like bombs into a conversation.
We can’t escape language. It’s everywhere.
Words matter because they are the descriptors of our tightly held beliefs, our deepest fears, our greatest triumphs. Our feelings. Our physical, mental, and emotional selves. Words tell our lives, our train of thoughts, the stories of our imaginations.
As a writer I live in the process of conveying the stories of my imagination, of conveying a message that matters. So in the spirit of sharing, I’m passing on these words for you to create your own sentences. Your own message that matters to you. You can create a mantra, or just let them live for a while in your mind. Or you can use them as I have, as an antidote to the swirl of messiness the world is at the moment.