Thursday, October 30, 2014


by Linda

"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

A photography tip I learned in Kim Klassen's Be Still class is about being still and contemplative as I prepare for a shot and as I look through the viewfinder. I find this practice also applies in other ways in life.

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!



Jeanne said...

Very powerful post and totally love this first shot and the "rhyme" with it.

Dotti said...

Oh, gosh, yes! In this day and age of 'cheap' communication, we've forgotten the power of words, the weight they carry. In fact, words might be the most powerful force on earth. Remember, 'The pen is mightier than the sword'? I think it's true. Words have the power to stop wars ... or to start them. We should choose our words carefully. I know all of our mothers admonished us to 'think before you speak'. Yes. Words. The power to hurt, the power to soothe, the power to wound, the power to heal. Very important thoughts for us to ponder this morning, Linda. Thank you.

leigh said...

I think we forget the power that words have and it's so easy to say (or type) something without truly thinking it through. Great post today Linda

Barb said...

I really like your focus on the last shot. Words and the way they're expressed has always fascinated me ever since I was a child. We interpret words differently based on our own experiences. It's good to keep that in mind when writing for others, I think. A lovely post today - your words and your images make me think.

kelly said...

i could not agree with you more linda. words are very powerful. and as much as i love social media, it can sometimes do more harm than good to our relationships.

Deanna said...

Yes, Linda a well written post on how important and powerful words can become. Thank you for your wise words.

heyjudephotography said...

Wise, wise words Linda, and so true. Words can lift us up or take us down and we must be very, very careful how we use them.

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