The power of words

I believe I have spoken of this before, but I want to elaborate a bit further so bear with me or feel free to skip. There is something almost magically tangible about words. I love words with a passion, even though my vocabulary is sadly remiss (although I love them I have a harder time learning and retaining new words). My reading comprehension though is high, but when it comes to constructing my own thoughts into words or deciphering verbal words that are coming at me….here is where the issues arise. I just don’t think in words unless I am writing something or trying to verbalize something. Then it is a trial to pluck the words from some recess of memory where my vocab is stored and try to create what I am thinking. The same is true of what I am hearing..though in reverse. I have to take the time to absorb it, and disemble it, in order to understand it.

I know that is may be a bit surprising to those who are aware of my written work, particularly with my poetry…but I can’t claim much of the credit there. I don’t know how the poems get inspired, only that lines of shiny words flow through me making me warm and happy, and they instantly get written down. I just don’t think that way, and so when I receive words flowing effortlessly through me it is a treasured gift. My mind works in a comprehension of impressions, textures, tastes, smells. It is my world quite literally compacted into my mind and meticulously organized carrying all of my experiences. I have been teased before about how I stare off into space when I am trying to think of something as if I am mentally checking files. That is pretty close to the truth. I am mentally shuffling through impressions and experiences. It is a sad thing to admit as one who loves words, and as poet and writer in general. In many ways I feel like I somehow got the evolutionary short end of the stick…yet it does have its upside. I am very good with symbolic recognition and processing, as well as connecting things. My mother commented the other day when I was helping her with her research that she didn’t understand how my mind can pick out minute details and connect them. It may very well be because I am not hung up on the language but am able to connect ideas through their impressions and a use of logic. I don’t know…but maybe. This also has done me a good stead with typing in that I don’t think of where the letters are or even that I am using letters specifically per say but rather than my fingers are flowing where they have learnt to go in order to create the words that I am typing here at a speed near 90 words per minute. And then there is also the matter of my art, which naturally doesn’t suffer any from an acute attention to visual detail.

But there are the bad things too. I struggle alot with verbal explanations. Especially if the person is speaking really fast. Anyone who is familiar with the term in one ear and out the other is familiar with what I am experiencing. I know they are talking to me, I know it is important, I may even get the gist of what they trying to communicate. But often I have to clarify by repeating back to them what they have said, or by asking a great number of questions (both which tend to irritate people). I am really not joking when someone says do I need to draw you a picture, and I say yes! Gestures go a long way with communicating with me as does miming in general, but really if you really REALLY want me to understand it, draw me a picture or write it down (like I said my reading comprehension is high I can interpret the written word at a more rapid rate).

Naturally my own shortcomings almost seem ironic considering the part Apollon plays when it comes to the holy word, and yet Apollon is the god I cherish, the god with whom I experience spiritual attraction. Likewise Athena, a goddess long associated with the creation of words and education in general (as Apollon too is associated with education) is also a very present goddess in my life apparently. The do not miss the irony in this. I cannot create with words in a very skillfull manner on my own, but rather my most profound messages and poems are a matter of inspiration flowing through me with very very little input from any effort of my brain cells. It just travels through. It leaves me feeling good and happy, but it comes and passes. And if I don’t write it down immediately it is gone again just as fast and I might remember an impression of it but I won’t remember the exact words (and hence the reason why I would really make a miserable bard if I had to remember and retell my poems verbally lol). Yet this very thing makes the very experience of words as something precious and magical. They are the most beautiful things in my mind. They are a treasured gift, and in this manner I think I under just how powerful and special words are. So all due props to Apollon, Athena and Hermes, those gods associated with word.

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3 thoughts on “The power of words

  1. I have similar issues regarding the articulation of thoughts and feelings. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone. Sometimes it’s easier to do in writing, but it requires a heck of a lot of time, and revision, revision, revision. I do have my moments of spontaneous genius where I come up with an amazing poem or “article” or art project that I don’t have to tweak.

    I’m very detail-oriented — to a fault — so it is terribly easy for me to get tangential. I have many images, thoughts, feelings that don’t have words floating about, which I understand well enough, but I have to create words that fit them concisely, accurately, and articulately. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, so the process becomes a bit more complicated, haha.

    I think they all might be symptoms of the introverted intellect. It’d be fascinating to read psychological studies describing how introverts’ minds are wired and process and articulate information, versus that of extroverted persons.

  2. I’m not all that surprised to learn that you don’t think in words, despite your tendency toward the written word. I also do not think in words (or in images all that much, either). I don’t find it surprising that you’d then be a writer. I’m thankful that I started writing early enough that I have an easy time (most of the time) getting impressions into words (though I frequently bemoan the lack of appropriate words in English for many, many things. Being largely monolingual, I don’t know how many other languages might be better suited, or not).

    Hrm. Not much to say, really, just, I get where you’re coming from :o)

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