I fell in love with books even before I could read them, and I was blessed to grow up in a home where that enthusiasm was nurtured and stimulated. It may sound silly, but I remember being taught to read – I remember how proud I felt as I worked my way through phonics and then even more so when I understood the difference between a subject and a predicate – and then boy oh boy the magic I saw in my little head as I learned about conjugating verbs!
I felt powerful. And I was so excited that I was being trusted to bury my head into any book I chose (all by myself) and fly off for regular adventures with all those words… and not only was this lolly gagging allowed, it was encouraged!
For as far back as I can remember I’ve loved reading and playing with words – pinching, poking and bothering them. I enjoy dressing them up, painting them pretty and taking them out on the dance floor. I’ve never been able to put them down, walk away from them or leave them alone – not even in my sleep.
Words hang like wind chimes on my mind’s eaves, they make lovely sounds as the breeze tinkers and clinks them into each other. Words are powerful and subtle things – they can paint pictures that anyone with ears can see and they can make love as quickly as they can make war. They are the fantastic sound of human life.
I was told one time, by a person I admire, that I tend to “murder the English language”. Where I heard lovely, he heard chaos – where I tasted spicy, he tasted bitter. This could have been due to the fact that I’m southern, and us southerners do tend to enjoy an extra dose of flavor – and this man is of mid-western origin, where they have a specific grasp of graceful vocabulary choices and absolute appropriate grammar. After this particular conversation I realized that there was no running from it, I wanted to be a wordsmith, the writer inside was busting at the seams. I enjoy giving old words new purpose – a resurrection of sorts. And if some interpret fun verbiage to be word-murder, then they’ll just need to cover their ears and step around that corpse, because I don’t plan on burying it any time soon.
Eventually inside a writer’s head, the inevitable happens. Sooner or later the words are stacked to the ceiling in a cluttered-up mess and have to be let out. At that point there is no choice but to tidy up the place, they have to get out of the head space and onto a piece of paper before they start dripping out of the ears. And so I write.
When I’m lucky, the words that come are entertaining or enlightening – when I’m most lucky they’re inspiring or helpful. Often times though, they’re in more of a tangle written out loud than they were when they were quietly tucked away on the inside. And then there are those occasions when the writer has absolutely no control of what those words are doing, they’re up to silly shenanigans and they’re on a mission all their own. At that point a writer just drives and trusts the navigational skills of the words themselves.
The following piece is one of those – a random burst of nonsense that happened in my early 20’s (and no, I wasn’t on any illegally prescribed street pharmaceuticals!) This is a private ramble taken from an old journal – it made me laugh when it created itself more than a decade ago, and it still makes me laugh today. Sometimes nonsense just makes the best sense. So enjoy this extremely short story (or extremely long sentence) and remember that words are not like food – you can absolutely play with them at the table, or anywhere else for that matter!
A pack of pachyderms parade past punctual policemen, who have potentially put pineapples in plain sight of pompous piglets who ponder pagan philosophy, while preparing poor people with peacock plumage to plunder possible parables for pleasing powerful painters and poets, who painfully provide a pleasure performance to passersby, with passionate portions of praise pouring from their penny pots, while purple pianos play pages of paper-doll, ping-pong polkas for pale and pasty procrastinators who pull pink poisons out of priceless panther parts, while pretending to paste posters, pertaining to pachyderm parades, on power poles for pagan pigs to protest.
One ridiculous ramble – nonsensical indeed, entirely without purpose and absolutely unable to leap tall buildings in a single bound…but murder, not by a long shot. 🙂