I am in love with words. I don’t know when it happened. It might have started with “Mama.” Words held meaning, and I was eager from the beginning to express myself. Writing is like breathing to me – I cannot differentiate one from the other. When I go long period without writing, it’s like I’m holding my breath and turning blue. And I am. I am literally turning blue. I am suffocating. A little piece of my spirit dies when I don’t write.
Here are fifteen of my favorite words right now:
Number 9 and 11 are words invented by the poet E.E. Cummings in his poem “in just,”which is one of my favorite poems because it is clear that words are Cummings’ playground, and he loved swinging and sliding from one to the other. I’m intrigued when poets/writers create new words to show unique images. As I grow older, I sometimes forget a word I need for a moment. I start thinking and thinking and thinking. And I come up with a word, but it isn’t the word I intended. Then all of a sudden, the right word pops into my head and I realize that both the right word and the wrong word rhyme. I chuckle instead of becoming upset, because I take it as a sign that I am a true poet and words matter, even – especially the wrong words.
Ruth Ayres wrote recently, “Finding magic in the middle of living.” When I read her words, I said aloud, “YES, YES, YES! That is what POETRY is to me!” It is pure magic and it begins with stringing words together: working and playing and putting them together like an intricate puzzle. You set that last piece in place, sit back, smile, and see the whole wonderful image before you.
Number 14 – TANGENTIAL. I have so many thoughts in my head at the same time that sometimes I think I may explode. Nothing is tangential in my mind, but to others it may not appear so. Everything, for me, is connected to something else. This is a wondrous world, and we are connected in ways that are both mysterious and serendipitous. When we least expect it, someone reaches out – a stranger, a poet, a friend, someone you knew long ago – and steps into your story. Words are the placeholder, the keeper of memories. They allow you to make sense of your surroundings and uncover the magic.