Friday, August 16, 2013

Wear Out the Word

How Vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. - Henry David Thoreau


Have you ever noticed that when you say a word over and over and over again, eventually it loses its power, and then after that it loses its meaning? It's true. Try it. Pick a word. Any word. Say it over and over and over again. Time yourself. Everyone's threshold is different, but eventually it happens.

Thirty seconds?
Two minutes?
Fifteen?

It can be almost frightening; the madness of repetition making you lose your grasp on a common word. After the madness comes clarity. Eventually all of that nonsense leaves you with nothing left to rely on but gut instinct and eye contact. A hand to hold, if you're lucky. The understanding that transcends all of the meaninglessness of words.


One of my daughter's favorite stories about herself as a preschooler involves an incident during that precious window when we learn the power of "bad" words. I don't really believe in bad words. I like them, but I don't believe in them.

So anyway, on this particular occasion I had asked her to stop doing something. It figures that I can't for the life of me remember what that something was, because like most things that preschoolers do that upset us, it couldn't have been that big of a fucking deal.

She didn't like being told to stop doing what she was doing. Who does? She crossed her arms, stared me straight in the eye, jutted out her chin and shouted, "Bitch!"

I set a timer, I think for two minutes, but just like the thing she was supposed to stop doing, I can't really remember. I told her she was welcome to call me a bitch until the timer went off. She couldn't believe her luck. She was in heaven.She gleefully shouted, "Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!"

It seemed like it could go on forever. An endless mantra of praise to the mother of dirty words. Until it slowed down and lost some of its oomph. "Bitch... bitch... um. huh. Bitch. bititch... bischt... I wanna stop saying it now."

I looked at the timer and said, "But you have thirty more seconds! I thought you loved this word."

She burst into tears and said, "Stop making me say bitch! I don't wike dat stupid word!"

And I flipped off the timer and we ate brownies or something, and I told her she could say bad words if she wanted to, but only at home because other people might not want her to play with their kids if she said it around them, and not directed at people. She agreed and faithfully adhered to the agreement for many years. All of the power and meaning was gone. She had worn the word out. The thrill was gone.

I've been wearing out a lot of words. One by one, a transcendental forest seeded with forgotten meaning. I'm just so tired of pretending like things matter that don't. I'd rather take a walk and look at the sky, write and receive bullet lists of what our days have held with one of my best friends, in which we don't pontificate or explain too much, or hold my love's hand just to feel its meaning.

Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.
Free. Ego. Space. Growth. Power. Raw. Me. I. Think. Feel. Sexuality. Permission. Revision. Story. Tell.

Whatever. Fuck that noise.

Be.
Do.
Love.
Live.
Repeat.

No explanation necessary.




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