words, writing

The right words are always so elusive. Most of the time I wish I could just look at people and have the conversation go something like:  “………..ya know?”

Even with the right words, it is difficult to convey sincerity. If there is sincerity, it is difficult to remain real and relateable. It is an amusing balance, huh?

With varying levels of success across the range of depths of acquaintance, we can pull off small talk with relative ease. With close friends, there is less difficulty in the honest conversation. But it still seems to always be able to come back to those moments when you would really like to convey something and find yourself woefully unable to do so. It is not an easy thing, to find the words, in speech or in writing. It is like expecting one of the forty-niners to consistently come out of the river with flakes of gold in their basket. Some people are better at knowing where in the river to look, some are better at identifying gold, and some can even recognize a certain pattern that precedes the actual reception of such gold. Still, at the end of the day, do we not just have to wait there, with our baskets in the river, and do the best we can with what we find? Some are experienced enough to have become alchemists; even without the gold, they can craft something shiny and worth looking at in a basket where the rest would have seen just muck. Sometimes that reveals skill and sometimes it reveals a desperate stretch. When we are talking about something serious, in the depth of that conversation, and it is all right there in that five seconds and you can’t spend hours poring over details as small as each comma like you can when you are writing, then…

incohesive. loose ends. i’ve been thinking about writing and words today, and wondering why i replay every conversation so many times in my mind and try to move things around as if past speech were something written, editable, the tone and the punctuation and the pauses fluid, dynamic, nothing static.. an interesting thing to consider, these words, and writing.


Donald Miller said something on his blog the other day about writing being like waiting to take pictures of the weather; you have to show up with your camera, and pray the weather shows up as well. Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem said “Songwriting is one of those old school preacher things, I think.  I feel like singers and preachers get smacked by some kinda crazy lightning right before they deliver; because I’m completely oblivious if you asked me how to write a song, it just happens, I can’t take the credit for it, and then bang: hallelujah.” … “It’s 30% craft of knowing how to move things around and word play and 70% Divine Intervention. I don’t think man in general can take too much credit for the art they produce, it certainly seems bigger than anything I can comprehend.


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