Sunday, August 14, 2016

Make Words Matter

"The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild,creative delight." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Politicians and the media launch words at us that defy matter. At times they pirate our thinking. George Orwell wrote in his novel, 1984, "But if thought corrupts language, language can corrupt thought."

We can make words matter by our choices. 

Immersion in nature disrupts the media onslaught. Concentration on the mind's moments develops a creative and positive point of view. Truly humorous connections rise above sarcasm.

Start a Nature Journal. Let the subtlety of your landscape soak in. Choose several locations: a park bench, a rock ledge at the beach, a forest or any location where you can sit for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Capture landscape sounds. Let touch and scent provide a visceral jolt.

Learn the names of plants,birds,animals and natural forms you observe. Free write and let the words direct you. 

Try these warm ups:

l. Listen for the sounds of the familiar in your garden: water running, a bird song, dog barks, and wind in trees.  Which sounds do you identify with home?
2.  Imagine the scent of an orange grove in blossom or a peach tree in the sun.  What scents move around you?  What will the sound of rain add? Can you combine the senses in your writing?
3.  Gail Brandeis encourages writers to describe eating a blackberry recklessly. Bring a fruit or vegetable to eat during your journal keeping.  Can you add taste to your writing?
4.  Give flavor and texture to your writing with visual imagery that moves away from the ordinary. 
5.   Consider the mental senses: pain, fear, love, play, humor, psychic capacity, reason, time and intuition. Can you translate these with concrete descriptions?

"Knowledge of things and knowledge of the words for them grows together. If you do not know the words, you can hardly know the thing." - Henry Hazlitt, Thinking as a Science

A drop of ink may make a million think. 

Choose your words with care and make them matter.

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