What are words?

Words…

moth.girl

What are words?

I used to believe words were comprised of language, letters, consonants, vowels, pronunciations.

Now I am not so sure.

Are not words pre-formed images, that sometime before adopting, we agree are to be transmitted?

Is not the unfinished painting above a compilation of words?

Before she became ill, David’s mother would often tell him that stories were alive. They weren’t alive in the way that people were alive, or even dogs or cats. People were alive whether you chose to notice them or not, while dogs tended to make you notice them if they decided that you weren’t paying them enough attention. Cats, meanwhile, were very good at pretending people didn’t exist at all when it suited them, but that was another matter entirely.

Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no read existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination, and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David’s mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.”

The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly, copyright 2006, p. 3.

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7 thoughts on “What are words?

  1. Hi SurfaceEarth:)

    I begin to see (perceive?) everything as a form of energy so words would be this to me. Like an expression of energy. When sound is given to words then the energy of sound might change the energy of the words. It is the same with images, they are like words, in that they are energy expressed, or music notes, or everything:) Like this unfinished painting of yours, I see the energy of you in it, and I find it very beautiful.

  2. I agree with Tumel and Mark!

    Alas, sometimes words are best left unsaid and paintings left unfinished…leaving the energies open for a needed interpretation.

    Thank you for sharing and for BEING.

    May we all journey on…

    ~g-h

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