Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Words


“All our words from loose using have lost their edge.”
Ernest Hemingway



I’m pretty much a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I go to bed when I’m sleepy. I do laundry, not on any particular day of the week, but when we‘re out of clean underwear. We eat supper at whatever time it‘s ready, which is usually after I’ve spent a frantic hour or so deciding just what it is that supper is going to be. The little dog gets her hair cut when I can’t see her eyes anymore, and I make an appointment for my annual check-up only when my daughter reminds me that it’s been well over a year since I had the last one. In short, I am a woman without a routine.

Except for early mornings. Even my most chaotic, un-schedulized, let’s-just-see-what-happens day starts with a routine. With few exceptions, I get up before the sun rises and make the coffee. While it’s brewing, I make JD3’s lunch and feed, water and yell at love the animals. When all of that’s done and I’ve kissed my honey goodbye, I make myself a cup of tea and sit down at the computer. After reading my email and checking in with my Board Buddies, I farm a little on facebook and read Anna’s latest post on livejournal. And then I begin my daily visits in BlogLand.

One of my first stops is Mary Carroll’s photo blog, In A Soft Light, where every morning, Mary posts one of her beautiful photographs. Often, she pairs the photo with by a quote chosen to complement the picture much like the right wine does a great meal. One morning last week, it was as if she had chosen the picture and the quote just for me. Together, they seemed to speak right to my heart. Anxious to tell her how moved I was, I quickly scrolled past the comments of others, clicked on the “Post a Comment” button and waited with poised fingers for the comment form to appear. When it did, I…had absolutely nothing to say. All of the words that I wanted to use sounded shallow and worn and insincere. It was then that I realized the full import of Hemingway’s words; that, just as we have with our beautiful earth, we’ve carelessly and casually used up one of our most valuable resources. Our most powerful words have become platitudes, useless for conveying great thought and emotion.

Consider the word awesome. “Oh, you can come to dinner Friday night?! Awesome!” Or, “I just got an awesome deal on a new car.” How about, “You look awesome in that dress?” Can any of these experiences come close to making you feel what you feel when you see the Grand Canyon or watch the sun set over Key West? Is getting a great deal on a new pair of shoes even remotely akin to the experience of holding your little baby for the first time?

What about love? I don’t just like snickerdoodles, I love, love, love them. (Three times the love!) I love polka dots. I love red. Or, as we Southern girls say, “Honey, I love ya new hayah-do!” (That’s hair for you Northerners.) Really? Love? Isn’t love that wonderful and profound feeling I have for my husband, my child, my God?

Which brings me to Oh, my God! In my opinion, those words should only be uttered when calling on the magnificent Creator of the Universe, not to convey excitement and delight because some TV decorator has just re-decorated your whole house with $35 and a glue gun! They should not be flung out so that others will know just how shocked and disgusted you might be, as in “Oh my freakin’ God, did you see that guy she was with?!” Excitement can be communicated without saying, “OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGod! He’s so cute!” These words should be said in worship, in supplication and in wonder that yes, He is my God.

Imagine Heaven. The sun is shining down on the polished streets of gold. Flowers of every color are blooming in front of the many mansions. The angels are at choir practice and their beautiful song fills the air. In the distance, on a hill covered with soft green grass, sits God on His brilliant white throne. Just to his right, with His hand on His Father’s shoulder, stands Jesus. Together, they are looking down at the world that they love so much. Sometimes they smile. Sometimes they wipe away a tear. Sometimes they laugh out loud. Jesus leans down and says to God, “Father, I hear Susie calling your name.” God shakes his head sadly and says, “Son, Susie isn‘t really calling me. She’s just excited. She got some awesome new furniture and she loves, loves, loves it”

5 comments:

ivecomethisfar said...

This is amazing. Truly. I love er...really like that bit at the end.

dede said...

I love love love this post! You are great!

Mary said...

Hi Bee! I'm so happy that you enjoy my posts and, as always, I'm somewhat amazed that anyone is actually reading them. :)

Your post today reminded me of a favorite English professor in college. He once gave a lecture on the over-usage of THE bad word. (You know the one I mean .) He made the point that language has power, and that to use this word every two seconds was to rob it of it's power.

Clearly he was not a rap music fan.

Just kidding, but you get the point. ;) Thanks again for the very nice comment.
xoxo,
Mary

JulyG319 said...

Again, Bee, you've written another genius post! It's so true and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how you've made your point! ;)

Chris said...

Good one, girl!

 
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