Monday, December 10, 2018

Words of Power and Intrigue

by Peter Leavell @peterleavell

Words are our livelihood. Sometimes we manipulate and coerce. At other times, they swirl about us and align in perfect order so we might pluck them like Christmas cards at the department store.

We’re wordsmiths.

We uncover beautiful words as we consider their sounds and meanings. 

Words enjoy a beyond in their expandability, a give and take that sustains our souls and gives us purpose. The beyond of a word is more than a dictionary meaning. The beyond has a gratification and a horror that takes an active role in exploring our hearts and minds for experiences long forgotten and moments yet to come.

A word has its own agency, speaks for itself, defends itself. A word has an identity. A color. A friendship. Or is it an enemy? 

Has the word so mistreated you that you see it lurking around a shadowed corner and you must run?

Because the words are alive. And those who utter them do not know the meaning for others.

C. S. Lewis knew the beyond of a word, knew the friendships they have that sustain life. Comfort. Rest.

Courage, dear heart.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

T. S. Eliot knew the beyond of a word, knew the understanding of the hard, unforgiving passion of sound. He understood a life wanting hope but finds cold, and so ushers in modernism poetry in three lines.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;

The mind screams for relief and finds a glimmer of hope a few moments later.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Words are locked in your breast. They must be released.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Maya Angelou

Tell your story. The words hold a beyond you cannot comprehend, a meaning for someone you can’t possibly grasp. 

The adventure is not knowing the beyond of words for others. The adventure is not the journey—is not you on a ship journeying across the sea. Instead, you are the ship carrying the story across the waves to their soul. 

There is only fear stopping you. And the fear doesn’t matter. Because God has given you words that hold a beyond. So you are an adventurer.

Life is a great adventure or nothing.

Hellen Keller

Write as if writing is all there is. Give the world meaning, scope, truth, even lies, but always hope. These words have a beyond for others, and you cannot know the vastness they hold. 

Because you will leave your words behind, as Shakespeare said of our end,

Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

As You Like It, ‘All the World’s a Stage’

Write on, my friends.

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Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and currently enrolled in the University's English Lit Graduate program, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. A novelist, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at