I was browsing my archives and thought it was interesting that I came upon this post I wrote on the same day it was published two years ago, August 10, 2015. I don’t believe in coincidences so I am re-posting this for whoever needs to read it. It is, after all, Throwback Thursday.
What if I told you that inventions were built on your smile? If I told you, that babies were made from your good morning? That because of you someone glided their way home today. Kissed sunshine into the arms of a loved one or sat down to give birth to their first poem. Trembling and afraid, they are virgin to this moment. Nothing to warn them of the Sanchez in their blood or the Maya on their skin but here they are because you loved them. What if I told you that inside the creases of your armpits were hugs that wrote masterpieces, which sang platinum albums, and wiped away tears as easily and as gently as music? What if I told you that your words are music? That someone somewhere is listening to you strum their pain with your fingers. That with your words alone you Lauryn Hill them back to Zion. Never underestimate the hope you unknowingly gift to others, like slow songs that mean nothing until you are desperate enough to listen to the words.
Because I can create peace in my mind
Even if the world is not all that peaceful
Because people write their truths
And when the heart is contextualized
hidden gems are found
waiting to be resurrected
I read because reading is valuable
And because books are the only place
where you can learn for free
I read because books are the only schools
I can carry with me
I read to learn from people
who came before me
I read to hear voices
to understand others
to listen to hearts
I read to find the person between the lines.
I read because not everyone can.
Don’t act like these little black letters have no home outside the blank page. Like murder can’t come falling from your mouth. Like lawlessness can’t come ripping through towns like torn flesh from heavy winds. Choose your words as if the next phrase has the potential to destroy. Examine the shape of them as they exit your mouth. Taste the intention one syllable at a time, for corroded speech is too often praised these days and reveals the unpolished stains of the heart. Deception brimming the mind and falling from the mouth. A surge of power tap dancing in the air only to build nothing on the ground. No substance. No foundation. Just emotion all over the place. A melting pot of empty tongues. Be careful what you say least truth reveals the fairy-tale hopscotching around in your mouth. A collection of letters too light to gravity the ground. Too corroded to fly. Dare you pretend the taste of burnt ash that fell from your mouth and consumed a life did not first have a home in the heart. Choose your words but first guard your heart for out of it the mouth speaks. Amazing all this power in the tongue. This tiny member leaving bodies smashed up against the blog; the stench of bereavement emanating from the first sentence of a post. Choose your words as if the next phrase has the potential to destroy. Because it does.
No. Not when you started writing, but when you fell in love with it. I’ll go first.
Freshman year, High School, Survey Literature. Mr. Clark didn’t know it, but his vocabulary list had me open. He thought I’d look up definitions. He was wrong. I devoured them. I tried using every new word in a sentence and like most people in love for the first time, I sounded like an idiot.
I became obsessed with their meanings, their pronunciations, how they looked on the page and, most importantly, how they made me feel. Seduced by the euphoria of getting words off my chest, letting the emotions ooze from my heart and out of my flesh; stitching my soul into the page one heartbeat at a time, and riding the wave of stillness while traveling through books. I fantasized about how words would pair; how they would rhyme, mix and match. The smells of metaphor, and the taste of simile calling out to me from the words of healing written in a language I didn’t quite understand and yet, knew it was a necessary part of my sanity. For if I could not depend on writing to be my stepping stone to mental clarity, then I was truly lost. Forgotten in a world without meaning. No explanation for the question mark of our existence. No saving grace. No salvation to play just the right scripture to guide us back to the music sheet. Writing. It was my music sheet and goodness, how I loved him.
What about you? Are you in love with writing? When did you fall for it?
Not in love yet? Here’s a post about how to get there! 6 Ways to Fall in Love with Writing
Can I spit poison into your life just by speaking words into your skin? Or can I speak life into your life by cultivating peace into your heart? Words. So important and potent, life threatening and life creating. We must never forget the power of words, their motives and intentions, their power and potency. I marvel at how easily we curse one another. Every day there is someone trying to clean up the blood they spilled by gossiping behind someone’s back, or begging for wishful deaths to go back to its chamber of meaning. Never tell someone you wish they’d leave this earth, or that you hate their guts. You may indeed be charged with murder before the words escape your mouth. I often wonder why I have taken on the task of this kind of bravery, to become a professor of words. To become part of a community where the next murderer is just one page away from me. Perhaps I have a death wish, releasing words into the air with only the hope that they will bring back life. I publish each post with shaking hands, a trembling finger; a focused mind. Carefully crafting and considering the words I put into the air. Writers. The bravest people I know. Managers of the potent word.
Stretch your thoughts forward with much care. Hold them in your mind with the fragility of a newborn’s bones and then unfold them from your tongue like ancient scrolls . Let them drip oxygen on the page so that you leave the post just as pure as it was before your spirit left it’s imprint in our souls. Let your words stain peace that I may inhale joy that cuts through bone and marrow. For sticks and stones may break bones but deadly is the venom of a tasteless word. How dull is the stare of a ball pointed pen bleeding empty? Who knew words were spiritual; the invisible breath of life to nostril. There is nothing more powerful than a righteous tone with angels wings let loose in its time. Pen to paper or voice to air. Choose your spirit words carefully. It wouldn’t make sense leaving trails of bodies hanging on top blog post walls.