Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

December 3, 2010

26 letters

Words mean something, they hurt, the heal, they bring fear or cause laughter. Letters, strung together and either written down on paper, in a text or maybe even a Blog. Letters making up a sentence spoken in love, hate or just offered up in an off hand comment.

Words. Letters. They should be mean nothing. They should have no affect on us what so ever and yet the mean everything. 'I love you' from the lips of a lover is the beauty that confirms the actions. When all else fails, you know the words have to be enough. A soldier, fighting overseas, missing his wife, he can't show her, with arms wrapped around her, but he can tell her and she can hear him.

Claims that you are ugly, too fat, too skinny, too tall, odd looking, have four eyes, freckles, are stupid, maybe you even had weird ears... whatever it is, those claims that happened in the school yard at recess haunt you even now, they affect how you view who you are as an adult, they shape your life.

Words, told to you as a child, maybe you are asked to keep a secret, or you accidentally reveal a secret, words hidden destroy just as badly as words allowed into the open.

We were told as kids that 'sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us', what kind of crap is that? Who thought that up? People live their whole lives living up to or running away from the names they have been called by Fathers, Mothers, Teachers, Friends, strangers or bully's. I have had two broken arms and a knee cap fracture, they have long since healed and have long since been forgotten unless pulled out at a party for a funny story.

Kids are literally dying because of the damage power of words, killing themselves, killing rivals, forever damaging thousands of lives... words, letters.

We have all had the talks, the words that have left their mark on us. We can all look back to times in our lives when we heard something either good or bad and we can recite it back verbatim. This Blog isn't tell you anything you can't identify with, and I can't say why I am even bothering to write it.

Words, and their power have been on my mind I guess. I hear of the gang turf wars in Toronto and I think of how silly it all is when it's boiled right down. I think of the promising lives of young people who have died because a group thought them different and used words to hurt them. I think of the simply word yes, that lands a mother and her two year old in a car with a drunk driver, and the devastation left in the wake of one three letter word.

I think of all the words I hear yesterday, at pre-op, letters, thousands of them... words meant to inform, instill fear, words meant to help, letters put together so that I might understand leave no room for more questions, words are powerful, the invoke terror, grief, hope, joy, pain...

All of that, all that power can be broken down the the alphabet...

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ... 26 letters.

26 letters...