From a young age, I have had a fascination with words. Initially, I liked what they sounded like. Over time I found that I liked what they looked like. Eventually, what I liked most about them, was how they made me feel. Words, not sentences. Sentences I don't really like. I find them to be cunning. Over meaning. Indulgent. As a teenager, my favourite word had been 'Serendipity'. That was before the movie by the way. Defined in the dictionary as: 'The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way'. How hopeful of me.
As the years have moved on and I have had the chance to experience some more of the words our human culture has manifested I have come to find that some of them were not what I had thought they would crack up to be. Like the word 'Love' for example. So overpromising and underdelivering. A word dipped in gooey hyperbole. Hollywood sham bottox bloated Valentine's day red rose, no I love you more, empty hot air balloon. A word that somehow takes precedent over other, larger words. Words like Respect, like Kindness, like Truth. Or that other word. That almighty, ever fearing, ever encompassing word. Responsible for the death of millions, trillions, gazillions: 'God'. Such a small word with such a troubled meaning. A word that when spoken, for some might conjure images of clouds and bearded old men but that in reality, over the centuries has evoked only rage and territorialism. A competition of whose is bigger. Your 'God' or my 'God'. Oh, my God. And a new word. Or rather a new meaning of it. 'Crisis'. A word that I have heard over and over and over the last 10 years. A word that has broken the backs of almost all the people I know. Myself included. A justification for bad policies and bad behaviour. 'But it's because there is a Crisis'. 'Ever since the Crisis'. 'They say it's the end of the Crisis'. What Crisis? Economic? Ethical? Spiritual? All of the above? Does anyone know?
As I write this blog entry, I find myself unfocused and unable to really pinpoint what it is I am trying to say. Maybe what I am trying to say is that we should be careful of our words. That in this new world that we live in we can no longer be led by our instinctive predispositioned understanding of them. We must be able to review them anew. To define them again. To loosen their hold over us, because it seems these days that sticks and stones will break your bones and words might also break you.