well-chosen words

Such simple words! But words are mighty things;
They cast us down, or lift us up to rest;
They charm and strengthen, till our angel sings
The last of all the life-songs, and the best.

~Sarah Doudney, Some Words

Words have always held great power for me. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been transported by words magically strung together into stories and poems and plays and songs. The right words, stumbled across at the right time, have comforted me in difficult times and galvanized me in better times, but mostly they’ve simply touched my heart or made me think.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a fan of quotations.  You’d figure it out pretty quickly if you came to my house, too—especially once you saw my study or my bedroom. I have quotes and poems on post-its and little pieces of paper all over the walls in both places. I also have a few in the kitchen and the bathroom. In fact, the only places immune from quote-mania are the living room, dining room, and guest room—for now, anyway.

I’ve collected quotes since I was a teenager, in spiral notebooks or blank books, on legal pads or odd bits of paper stuck in a drawer, tucked into a mirror or stuck on the fridge. Sometimes I’d pin them to a corkboard or tape them to a shelf over my desk. However, it wasn’t until I  moved into my current house that I began taping them to the walls.

The quotes are strategically placed where I’m most likely to see them…right next to the head of my bed above my lamp, on the fridge, between the closet and the bedroom door, stuck in the frame of my bedroom mirror, taped to the storage shelf of my desk. The most important ones are by the bed, where I’ll see them every night before I turn in.

I’m thankful for the countless writers whose words filled all those notebooks in my youth and now grace my walls. They’ve soothed me, saved me from despair, made me laugh, and pierced my heart. They’ve made me want to be a better writer, so that one day I’ll be able to touch someone with my words the way theirs have touched me. As the poem above says, words are mighty things, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to experience that power and share it with others.


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