“My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel, — it is, before all, to make you see.” Joseph Conrad
I have been seeking answers for my entire life. Answers about questions. Questions about answers. Sometimes, I have the answer before I know what the question is.
I love to seek, and I love words. Words provide the answers I cannot articulate. I know a thing, and the written word is the vehicle my answer rides in.
Therefore, I decided to become a pilgrim. A Word Pilgrim.
I am embarking on a journey to discover the Kingdom of Words. Contained within this Kingdom is a Treasury of Words, and it has many chambers.
This treasury holds enough words for every thought, feeling, or speech uttered by a human being.
I actually began my pilgrimage when I discovered my love for writing at seven years old; however, I veered from the path until I was sixty.
Now, my feet have stepped back on the pilgrim’s way with my eyes gazing toward that mark of my high calling — to be a writer.
Pilgrim Rest Stop
Along the way, there are certain places designated a pilgrim rest stop. These are caves or depressions on a hillside and a table is always provided for spreading out my papers, notes, or journals.
The tables are often just rough-hewn logs sanded and smoothed on top so I can’t get a splinter hindering my ability to write.
Other times, the surface is made of marble with silver and ivory inlays. This type of table is lovely to sit at and feel the coolness, although, I believe my best work is done on the logs.
When I decide I need to stop, breathe, and meditate on my writing journey, I just sit at the mouth of the caves.
Waiting. I have not ventured inside, yet.
After a while, I will glance a word peeping out of the darkness. Blinking, afraid to come into the light. Sometimes staring. Shy.
Lighting a candle, I whisper, “Come out, come out, where ever you are.” Still, they disappear back into the inky blackness.
These words are my children. My word children. They were birthed in my spirit before I was conceived.
Somewhere, along the way, I lost my words. That is why I am seeking them again.
Words spoken against me stifled my words. Evil, angry words took captive the beautiful words of my spirit.
I have come to free them from their prison and join me on my pilgrimage. I have ignored them for far too long.
Yesterday, while sitting at one of the caves, I spied an abandoned word behind a ragged boulder with a look of pain in her eyes.
I waved, but she ran away.
How can I shepherd these words? Leading them by a letter or two, gently coaxing them to the open. It is hard to be patient.
Like Lazarus, I want to resurrect my words, give them life and power. Enhance and advance them. Maybe, tomorrow.
Contemplation is part of this journey, and today, I thought about what words mean.
According to Miriam-Webster’s Dictionary, there 12 entries for the definition of the noun form of word. I like entry number 1b2, “any segment of a written or printed discourse ordinarily appearing between spaces or between a space and a punctuation mark.”
This definition goes back to my Word Treasury: the form of every thought, feeling, or article of speech written down. If I know what words mean, then, I can do something about them.
For example, the origins of words give me a deeper understanding of how we speak and write, which forms my thoughts, ideas, and concepts.
Consequently, I began to study the etymology of words.
This is a body of knowledge referring to the origin and development of words and their meanings throughout history.
I love the history of anything, so, it follows that I should be intrigued about word origins.
For example, according to Wikipedia, the source of etymology in the Greek stems from the word, etumologia, which means true sense.
Therefore, when I know the genesis and evolution of a word, I can enrich the essence of it.
Furthermore, for those of us who are writers, it may be of interest to know the history of writing. I find the study of the written word fundamental to my writing.
It is generally accepted in academia that the Sumerians (c. 3500 BCE) invented writing, however, tortoise shells discovered in 2003 at Jiahu, China were inscribed with symbols and radio-carbon dated to the 7th century BCE.
The ancient Egyptians invented hieroglyphs (Greek for sacred writing) as a pictorial script that represented a sound, a thing, or an action.
Over time, hieroglyphic writing evolved into the Phoenician script, then Greek, and eventually to Latin.
Even today, pictorial writing has re-emerged with the ever-present emoji. Emoji is Japanese for “pictograph,” e=picture + moji=character. (Has our writing as a civilization, de-evolved? This may be a question for the ages!)
Emotion=Energy in Motion
Pondering all these things, I determined that speech and writing can be broken down as follows: Speech — spoken and heard Writing — written and read.
Ergo, my writing is the voice my readers hear in their minds.
I want the words I write to resonate and evoke emotions within you. Emotion (emotere in Latin) is literally defined as energy in motion.
According to the Huffington Post, our heart has 40,000 neurons emitting electromagnetic energy. This energy field extends several feet away from the body and can impact our environment.
The thoughts and words issued from the emotions in our hearts become sound, energy, or movement.
If energy never dissipates, it stands to reason that my words can move into the atmosphere.
In fact, I want them to go into space and fly at the speed of light to the outer regions of the known and unknown edges of the universe and beyond!
Whether you think, feel, or speak, our words can move through the multi-verse, through wormholes, or even jump through time to other places and spaces.
According to what I have been taught, the energy of Creation set in motion everything that exists today: within the expanding universe and the expanding universe of your spirit.
Which brings us back to our pilgrimage. And words. Words are the conveyance of our thoughts. I must continue to seek.
Debbie Walker is a great-grandmother, blogger, and writer with a BA in Psychology. Her vision is to help others live the life they can live…one word at a time.