It’s all about the words, I guess. I’d estimate, based on an average of 500 per day, that I’ve posted about fifteen thousand words in the last thirty days. It has been both a pleasure and a struggle. Pleasure because I simply love words and since I can remember, reading them and writing them is the most consistent joy in my life. Yes, more than cooking or eating, more than playing with babies or kittens, more than napping. It is all about the words for me, because it is about connection. When I read, I am privy to the thoughts and dreams of someone who lives (or lived) a life that is not mine, and yet I discover myself in those pages.
When I write, I get to share, to tell my story, both the moments I witness the world outside and the moments that only I experience, inside. I get to play with words, like building sandcastles or cultivating a garden, ephemeral arts. Somehow, through the medium of sound, stories are also tactile. The act of writing is “like a physical need… Someone waiting for your words – even [a single reader is] what matter[s], because then you [have] a reason to be, to bear witness, which is what a… writer does.” (from A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith)
The struggle with words, with posting daily on this blog, is to believe that I can capture even a suggestion of what I want to say. Words are so frequently misused, so violently, so ignorantly thrown about. I cannot bear the thought that I might be a wastrel, unable to strike the smallest spark of light worth sharing.
I spent some time this morning with one of my favorite books: Roget’s Thesaurus. If you haven’t played with this juicy tome, I say try it. Although, I understand that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Because it is a source of wordplay that I love, I got caught up in a frenzy of cross-referencing, seeking the many meanings of LARGE.
Due to my size, I have frequently been slapped by the word FAT and its many insulting variations. I try to remain cognizant of the irony, that in so many ways LARGE is considered a good thing. Just not regarding the body of a woman in this place and time. So, take a look at this partial list of the positive synonyms for LARGE, by way of closing out this month of NaBloPoMo.
ABUNDANT: copious, abounding, rich, overflowing. AMPLE: enough, sufficient, plentiful, spacious, large. BIG: huge, great. BROAD: wide, expansive, capacious, full. BOUNTIFUL: generous. COPIOUS: lavish, profuse. ENORMOUS: gigantic, immense, colossal, mammoth. EXTRA: more, extraordinary, additional. GRAND: sumptuous, splendid, magnificent, monumental, stupendous, mighty. GREAT: numerous, big, imposing, conspicuous, grand, august, Olympic. HUGE: tremendous, enormous. LARGE: massive, substantial, sizable, gigantic, goodly, commodious. PLUS: surplus, positive. SUBSTANTIAL: considerable, solid, sturdy.
Food for thought?
In closing, here are some words from the essay In Praise of a Teacher, taken from Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea by Nikki Giovanni:
“I always loved [the subject] English because whatever human beings are, we are storytellers. It is our stories that give a light to the future. …History is a wonderful story of who we think we are; English is much more a story of who we really are.”
Here’s to telling the stories of who we really are.