September 10, 2015

Deeply Into Words

I am in the middle of homework listening to a Mexican radio station of praise songs online, and all of a sudden I have to stop writing about what makes a group project successful and I need to let my own words flow.

These two weeks of school have made me think a lot about words. Everything I'm doing here in college is words. I will write an average of twenty pages every week for school, not counting the poetry I am constantly pushing onto paper these days. I have only two classes that do not include "writing" in the title. The first is Street Art, and I have trouble expressing my opinions in a huge class. (26 students, biggest class I've had in college so far. They can't find a classroom big enough to fit us all.) Instead I've been jotting down poems to organize my thoughts. It's so much easier to think with line breaks and no people listening to my voice.

The other non-writing class is Japanese, and I cannot imagine a better class to remind me how crazy powerful words are. When you're sitting there and the teacher is staring at you and you know she asked you a question but your brain just won't grasp anything except the fact that the third story window offers the perfect view of Lake Champlain, suddenly you know that words are important. In Japanese culture everything seems to be so precise. They use the right word. The right kanji. Every word and symbol is specifically chosen to make a point, and often the kanji symbols say multiple things in just a few brush strokes.

It's like good writing. Every word counts, good words count more than once.

In my Fiction Writing Class the first day the teacher was talking about how we have this core idea of storytelling which has been around for all of time, and I can't help but think of the beginning of John. "In the beginning was the Word."

The Word.

These words are everywhere, and they're so strong. As I study language I watch how the use of a word will change, and how decreasing or increasing the frequency of specific words can impact the way the culture responds to the thing itself. It's crazy!

I may be a writer mostly because I just can't help it. I don't really think about who reads my writing or where my writing will take me. I just know that I need to write. It's part of who I am. The words were there in the beginning, and they were there in my beginning. I can't help it.

But this week I've been thinking more about words. About what they can do. About why I write. What am I saying? Am I reflecting light like this little Christian Radio Station in Mexico City? Am I giving the kinds of words that will make people want to come to a Christian Club here on campus? Am I giving words of truth?

If I'm not I don't want to write anything at all.

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