Friday, March 19, 2010

Contemplating “was” and “is” and “will be”

Yesterday was a gorgeous blue-sky day.
Today it is snowing.
Spring will be here tomorrow.

In those three lines lie the essence of a seasonal cusp. For many of us, the equinox carries the emotional promise of hopes, dreams and new beginnings. As winter wraps up in the northern hemisphere, we literally and figuratively prepare to sweep out (and sometimes we have to shovel) the dirt and dust tracked in during the past, long months. We're ready to let in the light.

Yesterday, a blueberry sky lay over Colorado and temperatures were down-right tropical. My daughter and I headed to Red Rocks Park with the dog to hiked some trails. It made for a rare, few hours with my college student during her spring break. We left the phones in the car. It was just us, the dog, the earth around us and the blueberry hue overhead.

Then we wandered the soaring Red Rocks amphitheatre. Tourists...from Ontario, Japan, South America, China and Texas, New Hampshire, Florida.... milled about with us. We paused to watch the multitudes of folks who walk and trot for exercise, back and forth, row-by-row, up, up, up the seating area. Watching them, I was more tired than I had been hiking. It was a wonderful day.

Today, is very different. This last day of winter, a snow storm has wrapped itself around Denver. We are white and wet and somber. I-70 has closed and opened again. Road plows are in action. The tulips in my south flower beds are buried in white. I'm about to break from writing and go shovel the driveway.

Tomorrow Spring will arrive.

As long as the sun rises, the promise of “was” and “is” always evolve to “will be.” Have you ever thought about the import of language? I know; probably not. I love words and I love writing. Words contain time...distance...emotion.

I love how the exact words we choose portent significance and meaning to our days. When we use thoughtful words, we increase our access to the enormous potential of time, space and possibility that lies between our ears. Words help us show respect, dismay, disapproval, disappointment, joy, eagerness, love, happiness, sorrow, hope. Words can replace violence and words can reveal the future. “Use your words,” I used to say to my small son; when frustration and anger overwhelmed his small frame because he couldn't learn fast enough, when bullies, bullied him, when his eagerness drowned his manners.

We have become such a visual society that, as a people, we discount the impact and meaning of words. Often when writing for social media clients, I find my writing is mere “content” that (for them) simply fills visual space.

I didn't exactly know where this blog was going when I began it. Now I hear the whisper of these words. They are the whisper of light:

“Would it be better to discover meaning in what you write than to impose one? Nothing you write will lack meaning because that meaning is in you.” Flannery O'Connor

Yup. That's what I meant!

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