Friday, March 7, 2014

Words are all I have ...?


As the song goes...
It’s only words…but words are all I have, to take your heart away.


Well ... words may not be ALL I have to give *g* but they're what I want to give thanks for today. I’m thankful that I can speak and hear, that I’ve had the education and environment to learn how to express myself, that I’ve had the eyes to read and the hands to write. Words are a treasure and a treat to me, and I’m thankful daily that I can use them to communicate.

They can bring us joy and knowledge, they can create worlds, they can hurt or heal, each as strongly as the other. They allow us to cross boundaries of distance and age and background. We used to have letters and cards to communicate, and some of us still love those. But now we also have the internet, email, blogging.

I'm fascinated by the internet. Ask my family, who have to peel me from the screen to eat supper LOL. I know its dangers and I know its lack of moderation. It’s not for everyone. But it’s been a boon for me in opening out the world. I’ve learned about other lives, about other worlds, I’ve made friends, kept in touch with their lives and loves, and I’ve been encouraged to find myself another career and pleasure in writing fiction. All based – partly or wholly - on words.

They’re everywhere! Who doesn’t love a favourite song? Or laugh at a particular kind of joke? It all hinges on words. I don’t Tweet much and my blogging is erratic. But I love writing and communicating, whether it’s through email or through my stories. I have made some truly good friends, whom I’ve never met face to face, but whose style and generosity in their correspondence allows me to see and love the real person.

Words have their shortcomings, of course. They can be misunderstood, they can come across too baldly. They can’t replace the importance of seeing someone face to face, of reading body language, of smiling to ease potential hurt, of frowning to express caution. A *hug* is never the same as a real one, but to a trusted friend who’s far away, an emailed *hug* is still a treasure. I know it is for me :).

I recently discovered a short post I'd written about my Mum in 2009. Forgive me the indulgence of family issues, I don't often write *too* personally. I wrote about her worrying slide into dementia and her frustration at losing touch with words and memory. She was a strong, articulate, witty woman, who brought up me and my sister for many years on her own until she remarried, who started in a fairly modest job but after encouragement from her boss and her own mother, found herself an important career in education. But over a distressingly short period of time, she found she couldn't join in conversations because she couldn't remember the words for certain things: she began to forget names and repeat herself, and she hated it.

Since that time, Mum has deteriorated to the stage where she can't string a sentence together and is bemused by conversation. But on the good side, she's looked after in her own home, she seems happy in herself as the frustration has eased over the years, and everyone who cares for her loves her company. And she HUMS almost constantly *g*, though it wouldn't be so bad if we knew what tune she was following so we could join in!

I'll finish on a more upbeat note :). I was out with Son#2 in town the other day and we were stopped a few times. People asked directions, or chatted to us in a queue, or they knew us from the boys’ school days. On our way home, Son#2 turned to me and said – “We always end up chatting to people, don’t we? It’s good fun.” It was one of those tear-to-the-eye moments!

Words are all around us, available for our pleasure, comfort and excitement, with new ones always waiting to be discovered, old favourites to be savoured. Thanks for them – and for the extra special delight they bring, keeping me in contact with my family and friends!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Clare London
Writing ... Man to Man

         




5 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Oh my, the things we take for granted! Such a beautiful post, Clare.
As a writer, I'm SO grateful for computers and the Internet. I can't imagine writing in an age without them. But sometimes I forget to be thankful for the basics, like words, or the ability to communicate.
Thank you for the thoughtful post!

Marcelle Dubé said...

What a lovely post, Clare. Thanks.

Clare London said...

Thanks all, I think it came out a little more gushy than I expected - that's the power of words for you :)

Rita said...

Ahhh! Clare so sorry about you mum. Difficult fo you when words are your life. Reading between the lines I sense she is the reason for your words love affair. Thank you for this beautiful post.

J Wachowski said...

Hey Clare, thanks for posting this. I'm facing similar challenges with my "mum" and it's lovely to hear someone say..."she's happy." It can seem so sad to observe the change at times. But you reminded me to focus on the good in the moment.