Speech vs. Script

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I need to write. Writing calms me. There are some thoughts, some fears, anxieties, hopes, and dreams, that cannot properly be expressed through speech and sound. Sound leaves room for misinterpretation, for deception, but there is something sacred about the written word that cannot be devalued. Script survives the test of time, while speech is lost moments after it is uttered. What’s more is that the written word does not require someone on the receiving end. Script is for the benefit of the author, not the audience. Speech requires a listener or else it is meaningless, useless. Speech is therefore tainted, biased so to fit the audience. We change our dialect, our jargon, even our ideas to fit the receiver. Consequently, we lose meaning as our idea transfers from one person to the next and then we are left with incomplete thoughts not properly expressed. This is what we call “communication.”

Communication has never served me well. From an early age, I discovered that I held more value as a listener than a speaker. People never cared enough to hear my words, but they loved to have someone else listen to theirs. The problem is that the world is filled with talkers. Every single individual on this planet feels the need to talk, we start out learning to speak at a very young age. We want people to hear our voices, our opinions, our hopes and dreams; we want people to know us, to know that we are unique and we are not just background characters to some bigger scheme. But with the amount of speakers that there are in this world, we lack listeners. Nobody wants to sacrifice their own melody to listen to another’s tune. So instead we all spend our time shouting over each other, only pausing to catch our breath or collect our thoughts before we begin another interruption. And those who can shout the loudest, those who excel in getting their claims to be heard above others, we congratulate them. We say “What an excellent ‘communicator’.” But those who stutter, those who mumble or shy away from the conversation, we ostracize them for lacking basic communicative skills. The ones who lack speech or who do not enjoying the shouting matches like everyone else seems to, they learn to express themselves through other mediums; these people learn to speak in so many other ways, beautiful ways that put language to shame. These are the artists, composers, and writers.

As for me, I was never any good with a paintbrush and music by my hand was only so-so; but oh what I could do with a blank page and a 26-letter alphabet. I don’t pretend to be a good writer, heaven knows I’ll never be a great one, but I’ve made it far enough to know that I must be more than fair. Because writing to me is more than just an artistic expression, it is my only expression. In a world where few care to listen, and even those few do not listen well enough to understand, the blank sheet of paper is the only thing that I will waste my thoughts on. The paper never talks back, never interrupts, never contradicts; it offers itself completely to our words, always the listener for those of us who never get the chance to speak.

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Altruism VS Egoism

altruism

Many people like to say that the world is divided between good and evil, but they’re wrong. There can be good in what seems evil, and likewise there can be evil in what seems good. The true division in the world is the choice between acting on altruism or egoism. Should you act to promote yourself or should you work to promote others? A lot of people, including myself, look at the time they are given and they think that it is too short to matter. We think, I am just a single being trapped in one tiny corner of the universe, how can anything I do ever make a real difference in this world?  And if nothing we do really matters, why spend our time doing anything that doesn’t promote ourselves? What’s the crime in being selfish? What’s the crime in slipping into the closer parking space, or eating the last piece of chocolate cake, or spending your excess money on a personal vacation? And not only that, but what’s the point in trying to make others happy or trying to save the world, if you know that it’s only fleeting, it’ll resort back to misery as soon as you release your grip? What’s the point in giving the homeless man money if he’s only going to spend it on his addiction? What’s the point in speaking out against environmental issues if you know that more than half the world isn’t listening? What’s the point in wasting your energy on trying to make the world a better place when you could just work on making your place a better world? I guess there’s really no good answer to this, but that’s because it’s not a question at all, it’s a choice.

I know that my words are quiet and I know that my actions are small, but even the tiniest steps of the staircase still lead upward. When I choose to act on altruism, it’s because I know that what I do for others matters so much more than what I do for myself. Why buy myself another item I can live without, when I could put my money towards a cause that matters? Why waste my life on selfish pursuits when I could donate my time to those who are truly in need? For me, it has never been about learning to cherish what I have because others have so much less; I am already thankful for all that I have. No, for me, it is about finding out how to give the less fortunate every opportunity that I have been blessed with. Why should I have so much and they have so little? The answer is so that I should have the pleasure of sharing my wealth, wisdom, and happiness with them. I choose altruism because I have the ability and resources to do so.

My Words Made Real

stepintoreading

Something funny happened today and I just had to share it with you, my nonexistent readers. In my writing I like to create characters, characters who either resemble myself or characters who I wish I would resemble. As you may recall, I wrote She – A Character Profile about a rather extraordinarily ordinary girl. Her most remarkable feature, I wrote, was her eyes; “Some days they were a dull gray and others a brilliant blue, but always they were lit up as if she constantly laughed at a joke only she understood. Her thin lips rested upon her face, slightly curved upward, waiting to join her eyes in silent laughter.” When I wrote this, I thought that this is the woman I would love to be; the woman with a secret happiness in her soul, hidden behind blue curtains, that would drive any man crazy just to get even the slightest hint at what that secret might be. Well, what happened today was that I was given a compliment that reminded me of this character. I was going about my normal routine when for a split second I locked eyes with an acquaintance and he said to me, “You know, you look like you’re always on the verge of a smile, like your eyes are always laughing at some knock-knock joke or something; you have that kind of curiosity in them.”  I just had to stop for a minute and absorb all of what he had just said. I thought, these are my words. I wrote these words about someone else and here he is speaking them about me. It was so surreal. I had to remind myself to say “thank you,” but what I wanted to do was hug him tight and never let go. Today, for a fraction of a second, fantasy become reality; today, I was able to add a bit more magic into my own story.

Diamonds in Her Eyes

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She was lovely like the lilies in May, but she had a ferocity that put even the angriest of storms to shame. Her rage did not sprout from the people who had wronged her; she like any normal, healthy being forgave and forgot and carried on with her life. No, rather she had a fury for life; a passion that hungered for every emotion and every experience, whether it belonged to her or to someone else. Her eyes seemed forever misty with the endless tears she cried; tears of joy, tears of hate, tears of defeat, tears for herself, tears for friends, and tears for strangers. Others would see her as unstable, a basket case who lacked the strength to keep her emotions at bay; but he thought her radiant, every tear a diamond that kept her eyes sparkling. He didn’t see her as broken, but rather more whole than anyone he’d ever met. She felt everything, experienced everything in its entirety; not a single detail was ever overlooked or neglected. He knew that anyone lucky enough to stake claim to her heart would receive a love boundless like the stars and endless like the very fabric of time itself. He only prayed that whoever that person may be is able to show her a similar love in return. A woman like that deserved nothing less.

Here Comes The Sun

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“Daddy, I can’t do this,” she said as she clutched her stomach, trying to subdue the butterflies that were buzzing away inside of her. All her life she had wondered if this day would ever come; and even now that it was here she still couldn’t believe it was real. How could someone love me enough to promise me their forever? What if it’s all a hoax? What if he grows tired of me? What if I grow tired of him? She had never been one to love easily; insecurities and over-rationality had always prevented her from carelessly and passionately falling in love, they caused her to be detached and therefore she had trouble connecting with the men who came into her life. And even after her soon-to-be-husband came in and, against her better judgment, swept her off her feet, even after he waited for three years to ask for her hand because he knew she couldn’t rush into things, even after all his kindness and patience she still felt as if his love couldn’t be real. Who could love me that much?

Her father gently placed his hands on the sides of her face and wiped away her worries along with her tears. “Everything will be fine, you look beautiful,” he reassured her and leaned in to kiss her forehead. Then he held his arm out for her to hold onto and dutifully turned to face the towering double doors. With a deep breath and the coordinator’s “Ready? Alright, let’s do this,” the doors slowly swung open and she was blinded for an instant by the bright lights inside. As the blindness began to fade she started to take in the room around her. With a glance to the left she saw the thumbs-up, waves, and smiles from her close family and friends, her mother’s eyes brimming with the tears that she had waited 28 years to shed; and turning to the right she gazed upon the approving faces of her new family, all of them delighted to see that their son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend had finally found the girl worth settling down for. Then, suddenly, her ears alerted her that replacing the typical bride’s march to an organ playing Canon in D Major, was the beautiful sound of an acoustic guitar strumming George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun.” Instantly, her mind flew back to her first date with her now almost-husband.

They were sitting next to each other on the bar of a small 50’s style diner, enjoying a couple burgers and fries, and trying to chat away the awkwardness that accompanies a first date. Overhead the speakers began to play “Here Comes The Sun” and she paused mid conversation to shush him and say “I love this song! It’s my favorite!” He had already known she was a huge Beatles fan, but to hear that this was her favorite song took him a little by surprise. “Really? This one? Out of all the great Lennon-McCartney-Harrison pieces, this is your favorite? It’s so simple, so commercial,” he said. She just shook her head, “No…. no, not commercial, just happy. I dunno how to explain it, but to me there is no happier sound than those first few chords strummed on George’s guitar. It’s the happiest sound on Earth.” 

Directing her eyes towards the sound of the guitar, they finally landed on him; standing directly across from her down the aisle, dressed in typical tuxedo black, beaming away as he strummed the simple melody on his guitar was her nearly-husband. Without pause, without thought, she immediately lifted the hem of her dress, revealing a couple of white and teal tennis shoes, and proceeded to sprint down the aisle until she had jumped into the arms of her man who had barely had enough reaction time to place the guitar on the ground and brace for her incoming tackle. Strong as he was, though, he was still unable to prevent the two of them from tumbling backward onto the floor, the white satin cloth of her dress enveloping them both. Gazing into each others eyes, with more confidence and certainty than she had ever felt before, she whispered, “I love you.”

He smiled once again, as wide as his cheeks would allow him, and said “Quite right too.” He gave her a quick wink and added “I love you, babe.” Then, not even bothering to stand up, he pulled her in for a kiss and at that moment she let all her doubts melt away with the warmth of his lips.

Their embrace was then shortly interrupted by her brother shouting, “Oi! He didn’t say you could kiss the bride yet!”

Sticks and Stones

sticks&stones

I am mean. I don’t want to be, I don’t try to be, but yet I am terribly mean. Not only am I mean, but I am mean in the worse possible way; I take people’s insecurities and I turn it against them. Most of the time I don’t even do it on purpose, but I just can’t help blurting these things out. And I feel terrible afterwards because I can see how much it hurt them. And I wish with every ounce of my being that I would have stopped myself from saying it before I did, but there’s no way I could have.

Other times, though, I am well aware of how cruel I am being. I want to see them hurt. And it scares me just how easily I can break them with a mere handful of words. It scares me how satisfied I am to see their egos crumble beneath the weight of my words. For the precision of my words always leaves the deepest cuts, and their blunt shouts, no matter how loud, can never hurt as much as mine do.

I am too easily mean. Because of this I try to stay quiet. They always wonder why I hide my words, they think it’s out of shyness or embarrassment, but it’s because I know the pain that my words are capable of causing. Wit and intuition have their dark sides and I am not always strong enough to walk in the light. Words are powerful and therefore dangerous, which is why I choose silence.

One of Life’s Many Paradoxes

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“You only live once”

That’s the saying that has been traveling around our social media for the past five years. To most, this mantra is a comforting reminder that we only get one life so we should live it to the fullest. Be bold! Make dumb decisions! Do whatever the hell you want because YOLO! ………… but to me, this saying mocks me with the sad truth that I do indeed only live once. One lifetime is all I’m allowed, 100 years at best to squeeze in as much adventure, romance, and experience that I possibly can. But one lifetime is not enough. I am no where near content with a single life. I want to live a thousand lives! I couldn’t possibly choose just one and say “Yes, I guess that’ll have to do.” It’s not that I’m dissatisfied with the life that I am on the path to living, it’s that I am infuriated that this life will be the only one that I’ll ever live. I’ll never know what it’s like to be the 60’s teenager, screaming and crying with joy upon first hearing The Beatles live in concert. I’ll never know what it’s like to be the notorious rock-star, traveling the world performing in front of my adoring fans. I’ll never know what it’s like to be the famous actress, careening around Hollywood with more money than I know what to do with. I’ll never know what it’s like to be the reclusive author, trapped in the wonderful worlds that imagination and literature has allowed her to create. I’ll never be the ambitious historian, running around Europe trying to discover ancient secrets the world has long forgotten. I’ll never be the dirty pirate captain, sailing the seven seas with my rum-blurred eyes forever fixed on the horizon. I’ll never experience the life of the dancer, singer, biker, photographer, artist, politician, zookeeper, pilot, soldier, astronaut, stay-at-home-mother, Olympian, aristocrat, director, editor, prom-queen, rebel, genius, detective, critic, chef, ……….the list could go on forever. There is so much more I want to be and do and feel than what I can achieve in one lifetime. And sure, why can’t I just spend a day taking up dancing or learning photography or biking across the state? Wouldn’t it be satisfying to say that I got to experience a new life for the day? Sorta kinda not really no. I don’t just want to experience a day in the life, I want to experience the lives in a day. I want to live a full 100 years as someone and then, when this one life finally comes to an end, I want to start all over again as someone new. I want to live and live and continue to live until I feel that I have enjoyed every life that I could possibly imagine for myself.

This is a tester blog to see if I can keep up with it and if I enjoy it. What you will read in this blog are my collected works. These may include life ponderings, rants, favorite quotes, and (most often) short stories. Enjoy.