Surrounded by Words

Words, simple as they may seem, are in my opinion one of the world's greatest things, and they are something we rarely ever stop to really think about.

After taking a Psychology class at the high-school, which ended up being my favorite class despite how difficult it sometimes was, and of course after so many years of reading and discovering new forms of literature along with writing, I find that I have developed a sort of appreciation, you could call it, for words.  I know that sounds funny, but it's true.

A man named Benjamin Whorf (an American linguist) came up with the idea--now known as the Whorfian Hypothesis--that our own individual worlds, whether as a culture or just individual people, are seen through our language, our words.  When you look at a shoe, yes you see a shoe, but only because of the word shoe and of you knowing what it means, for example.  You see books, and you know that they are books and what that means.  This idea is something I haven't really been able to stop thinking about since learning about it, and as a writer, the idea is a very, very interesting and eye-opening one.  I surround myself with words as often as possible, as anyone would be able to tell judging by the stacks of books around my desk and shelves, but it's also very comforting to know that, literally, I'm surrounded by words. 

It's also amazing to really examine what a great writer can do with words.  William Peter Blatty, for example, in "The Exorcist," weaves his sentences together with such elegance and simple complexity that the book ought to be read twice, once for the amazing (and disturbing) horror story, and the second time to really notice the writing.  Then there are writers such as the underrated Richard Matheson, who once wrote scripts for that classic show, "The Twilight Zone."  His writing is so simple and so concise, and yet at the same time paints the picture of its words perfectly.  I could only ever dream of writing like any writer such as these two.

As for music, part of the reason someone could say that I don't like typical pop-music or the kind of music loaded with electronics and sounds in place of lyrics and instruments is the lack of poetry in it.  My friend (Coyah) and I seem to share the same opinions, but to me at least, the best music is poetic, it's meaningful, or at least inspired by something that really matters.  I do admittedly love other kinds of music, the fun kind or the kind of music that's particularly fun to drive to or something along those lines, but when I'm writing especially, I have to listen to certain kinds of music.

Recently I discovered an Italian pianist named Ludovico Einaudi.  The sound of the piano has always been a lovely sound, but the songs--and literally, almost any song--by Ludovico Einaudi are incomparably beautiful, and I highly suggest his works to anyone in search of the sort of music that is calming, beautiful, and otherwise difficult to explain with words.  Without words he manages to convey emotion seamlessly, and showed me at least that true beauty does not need words.  Sometimes words only take away from something in an attempt to do it justice.  Poetry without words, you could call it.

Being old enough and (hopefully) mature enough to appreciate these sorts of things--storytelling, poetry, music, and how they fit into life--is something I am speechlessly grateful for.  They say the small things in life are really the big things, that they matter the most, and I think there are few sayings more true than that.

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