Words fall on the soul like dew on grass… sings the poet.
Smaller souls hear the rumble, followed by the resounding thud — not to mention the stifled screams.
Oh yes, I’m talking of words. Diminutive diamonds slithering in water — you can never tell which way they will go. It takes a thousand nerves to dip in the quagmire of words and feel the pang of meaning.
Did I say “meaning”? That is a tricky word again. It would have been a mighty thing — to be able to pin them down with meaning. Or five meanings. Anything measurable would do in fact — like asking a school-girl to write a 5 Kg worth essay on Discipline. Now, that is pretty much giving away the meaning of discipline, isn’t it? What foolish girl would NOT be able to write on a subject so well-defined? It would make it so easy to know the worth of words, that way.
Nevertheless, I sometimes wish that we could leave each other alone. I mean them — words — and me. It happens mostly in times when I’m not looking of course. They splash through the mirror over the wash basin. Or they skitter down the stairwell — footnotes for the day — trailing behind an unsuspecting me till I trip. And as I fall, I can see them lying like a sea of poppies, opening their slick red mouths for a cuppa hot red blood.
Whoever said you could think them up? Or twist them your way to convey what’s inside your head? I think it could be another one of their tricks — to make you believe that you could string words together and create meaning. I think that way because I know all too well that I had known absolutely nothing till I found words. Rather, till they found me. Have you given it a thought — that the methods we swear by, as well as their meanings, might not be our own?
We are such tots born in a world measured by words. What be light? And what be cold? Is there such a thing called darkness? Or heat, or blisters, or burns? Words morph them into ideas — and leave their legacy for us to bide time with.
Now, more than ever, I believe that words make us think what we think. And they put words in our mouths — and so we speak. Why else would I wax eloquent about words, their meanings and how they burn? It must be one of those tricks again!