Name Your Babies

GAH! I hate when I have NO IDEA how to capture the thoughts in my head and/or how to put them down on paper…er…computer.

I remember, during my freshman year, spring semester, emailing my favorite teacher from high school and telling him that I had MAJOR writer’s block and had no idea how to make it stop.

He told me there was no cure. Except to keep writing. And to not care if what you were writing was incoherent, or bad, or gibberish. But to keep writing because that’s the only thing that creates better writing.

So now I’m here – writing – trying to type without pause – so that I can just practice. Because just like with everything else, Shawn (my teacher) was right. I was taking a poetry class at the time, and absolutely hated everything I came up with. I thought it was all trash.

And then, somehow, towards the end of the semester, I got inspired to write what I still think is the best piece of poetry I’ve ever written. And it made every other line of terrible poetry I’d written up until that moment worth it.

I used to breathe poetry. I used to sit in class; scrawl furiously on lines of paper — feel like the veins in my body were filled with words and verbs and word-verb hybrids that rode ontop of adjectives and just flew — flew out of the blue vein in my wrist through my hands into the pen and finally onto college-rule. I used to pass back-and-forth lines of prose with my best friend scribbled on with red ink the comments and criticisms. She never used punctuation and I hated that.

I love words – I’m fascinated by them. I’m fascinated by the way that the human mind works that when I say “apple” what you picture is red, even though apples aren’t always red – they can be green, and yellow, and pink–

I learned that in a country that has no word for red, it doesn’t mean that they can’t see it. There’s one community in South Africa that only has words for the colors black, white, and red. But that doesn’t mean they don’t see blue. They’d say something like “black like the summer sky” and everyone would know exactly what they were talking about.

We’re taught that all that G-d had to do to create something was to say it’s name. For example, the concept of light didn’t exist until G-d created light in saying “Let there be light.” There was no physical labor that went into the creation of this light, other than the utterance of the words.

But isn’t that what we do, every day? When we say something is good, we make it better? When we say the word love, acknowledge that it exists – it’s existence becomes that much more important? When we write down our thoughts, doesn’t that make them much more real?

I love words. I love learning about them, saying them (ha ha – you can all laugh, especially you, mom!), molding them until they fit the sentences I carefully construct with the help of the Power that created all of these words in the first place.


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