"Words, words, words," Hamlet's reply to Polonius' query about what Hamlet was reading.
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." Robert Frost
"Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill." Buddha
"False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil." Socrates
"How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!" Samuel Adams
And then John Scovill tagged me in a Facebook post about this video:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=585736501444086. Here is my take away: the biggest test is survival.
The power of words is present here in the video; it is present in Katherine's blog; I hope it is present in my attempts as well. I know how words can wound us, but I also know how words can heal, how words can raise us up, how words can fill the empty places.
Perhaps that is why I turn again and again to books and reading: those words fill the empty places, elevate my mood, create a emotional and sometimes even a physical response. Yesterday, I read a picture book collaboration between Patricia MacLachlan and Steven Kellogg called SNOWFLAKES FALL. I was struck again and again by the words, those few words floating like snowflakes across the gorgeous landscape of Kellogg's illustrations. The final page brought tears to my eyes. The same is true with so many texts, texts where my response is so visceral, so immediate, that it catches even me by surprise. I worry in the rush to close reading and exemplar texts that some (if not all) of this will be lost. That the power of words and books to "wound and stab us" or to provide comfort or release or relief or companionship will take a back seat to a standard or a lesson.
And, so, I turn to the stack waiting for me for my #bookaday reading. I know I will find words within these books that will challenge me, that will enlighten and inform me, and that will provide me an indescribable pleasure.