Thursday, March 27, 2008

All That I Desire: Words

I remember my mother telling me about the day I came home from my first day of school. She says that I was so proud that day.

"Mommy?" I asked her, "What do you call it when a caterpillar turns into a budd-erfly (butterfly, in adult language....c'mon, I was only 5.)?"

"What, my baby?" she replied.

With my semi-toothless grin, I declared, "Me-ta-mor-fuh-siss!!" (Metamorphosis)

That memory stays with me. I think when I came home from the first day of 1st grade, I had begun my love affair with words. Fascinated with the way each syllable bounced off my tongue and the sounds they made. Each word had a vibe of its own. Each enunciation unique. I used to love Handwriting class, too. I remember taking my huge, thin letter writing practice notebook home and going ahead of what my teacher assigned for homework. When we were learning how to write our "Gs", I was busy mastering my "Ns".

I had the WORST handwriting up until middle school, but that never kept me from my love of words. I wasn't outspoken or loud as a child, but that didn't stop me.

My interest with words increases steadily. I am well acquainted with libraries, bookstores, etc. I think I was the only kid in my whole elementary school that mastered the Dewey Decimal System. Card catalogs were a breeze to me. #1 on my Christmas list for years was Where the Wild Things Are or the newest Youth fiction novel. My mother knew that the best way to punish me for misbehaving was to remove all of my books out of my room. Simply sending me there only provided me refuge.

The floor of Barnes & Nobles is paved with gold; a place where I could honestly [and I sometimes secretly] break out into song.

In middle school I got near perfect scores on the verbal portion of the PSATs. I made straight A's in English. I even read the dictionary for fun!!!

This desire has also become a handicap of mine. I suffer from complexity issues a lot of the time. Every moment of my life requires a caption. Each occurrence a detailed explanation. Nothing can ever just be in my life. I must put it into words; in order to provide it with meaning.

But sometimes the silence that comes in a moment of awe is sufficient.

I am learning to welcome the ambiguity of life. To appreciate mystery and to see the beauty in simplicity.


  1. I find that part of the challenge of this love affair with words, syntax, alliteration and like is knowing when, how, how much, etc.

    Much like a regular relationship. It's necessary to know when/how to hug, kiss, pet, caress, sooth, talk, argue, sing to...

    or just remain silent.

    Nice post. Although we use these words as we see fit, they tend to be tell-tale signs of the person speaking them...

  2. I must put it into words; in order to provide it with meaning. I couldn't help but laugh @ this part of your enjoyable post. I too developed a love for the written word when I was in elementary. I remember always wanting to compete in spelling bee's.

    Now the love is too the point where it seems I must pen everything around me. At least during some point in my life.