"You too, my mother, read my rhymes
For love of unforgotten times,
And you may chance to hear once more
The little feet along the floor."
~Robert Louis Stevenson
The internet has helped to bring us all a little closer together. We no longer have to wait for a letter in the snail mail or a telephone conversation, we can send out an email, text message, tweet, facebook or blog post. Instant communication. It's really wonderful to be able to reach out in so many ways in such a speedy manner.
Words are powerful. They can be filled with emotion. Filled with love or filled with animosity. Words can be felt by the listener and by the reader.
For me, the problem with all this lightning quick communication lies in the fact that the written word can take on different meanings. Meanings based on the emotion or situation of the reader. The message that is interpreted by the reader may sometimes be entirely different than the intent of the writer. Without a voice to place proper emphasis and emotion within the text, the reader is free to place the emphasis and emotion where they will and to define the message as they relate to the readers knowledge or place in life. Sometimes entirely not what the writer intended. And sometimes a degradation between parties can occur. The reader may feel insulted, abused or hurt by these words. If that was the intent of the writer, shame on then for hiding behind a computer to intentionally hurt another person.
But then, this is exactly why poetry is so wonderfully timeless and personal. We are free to make each verse our own. We are free to claim any emotion we feel as we read it. We can define the verse to our own experiences. If you have ever been to a poetry reading, and heard one of your favorite verses read, you may have come away with a different feeling other than the one you had when you read it yourself.
I think we all know how powerful spoken words can be. A parent knows well that their words can make a tremendous impact on a child. We know to calm down before speaking and choose our words carefully. And we know to say the most powerful words "I love you" and "you're so smart! beautiful! talented!" often and with meaning to our children.
As powerful as written and spoken words are, even so are the words that are not spoken. Imagine thinking back over your own life and not having a memory of ever hearing those most powerful words from your own parent.
Even a "thank you" every now and then is a really nice thing to say, to write or to hear.
So think a moment before you speak. Stop a moment before you send out a tweet, an email or text message, a facebook or blog post.
Are these the words you really want someone to feel?
Can you believe October is almost over! Don't forget to add your twilight shots to the gallery!
And have a happy and spooky Halloween!