Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly–they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
The right words reveal our bony parts. They dig in and expose new thoughts, revelations, feelings. The right words can comfort or challenge, affirm or deliver a swift kick. The right words can change us entirely as we sit with them. The desire to write the right words is strong. How many of us miss the mark?
When I think of the works of Brene Brown, C.S. Lewis, Judith Glaser, or Margaret Atwood, I think of the subtle shift of my being because I read the right words at the right time.
How often have you read words that revealed your bony parts? Can you recall a book or piece of writing that pierced you? How long did those words stay with you?
I still remember reading “The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test” in high school. Ken Kesey’s (I think) comment that “you’re either on the bus or off the bus” stuck with me because of the myriad things it can be applied to. The simple binary quality of that message appealed to my mathematical/logical mind. The hopeful notion that if you were on the bus but left behind, you’ll find it again actually played out in my life.
That’s been true in my life as well. It’s also been true that something I read in my early 20s had a far greater impact when I read it in my early 40s. I think sometimes we need to be prepared first in order to get on the bus when it shows up again. 🙂
I can’t hear annhityg over the sound of how awesome this article is.