25 days after my last post and a solemn promise (even if it was made mostly to myself) that I’d write twice a week, I’m back again. In my defense, I’ve been pretty busy changing jobs, missing my old coworkers more than I anticipated, and working myself to the brink of exhaustion at my new job because they pay overtime. I’m a former student with a ton of debt just hanging out. Overtime is the only thing that’s gonna make it go away before my 30’s.
To be honest, the only reason I’m writing this post at all is because of my growing desperation to do something in response to President Trump’s actions. There’s so much wrong with what he’s doing and how he behaves on a day-to-day basis that I often feel that addressing it is hopeless. His supporters are almost impossible to engage because I can’t help but feel that they’re deliberately misinterpreting what I’m saying or that they’re purposefully ignoring everything but the specific interpretation of events that they’ve arrived at.
The worst part of it all is that everyone on both sides of the current issues seems to be leaping to the extremes. I’ve been fairly closely observing the world around me for my entire life and I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so polarizing as President Trump’s campaign and first week of presidency. I’m a Liberal at heart, but I tend to behave fairly moderately. I’m willing to compromise and take smaller steps to achieve lofty goals. I try to avoid being angry with people and believe that everyone, regardless of their words and actions, deserves to be treated like a human. With every passing day of President Trump’s governance, I feel more and more alone in the middle.
The thing is, despite being in the middle, I’m definitely not on the fence. I have very strong beliefs about the way the world should work and I’m quick to point out where there can be some improvement, but I generally prefer to encourage people to be good to each other than prescribe ways of living. My whole outlook on life and value set can basically be summarizes as “don’t judge people, be kind to one another, and everyone’s rights extend right up to the point where they start to restrict or invade other people’s rights.” Simple enough, right? Hell, you can probably summarize it even better the same way most ancient religions can be summarized: “don’t be a dick.”
Unfortunately, the current president of the USA can’t seem to embrace that idea and seems hellbent on not only undoing all the accomplishments of the past 8 years, but also on establishing himself and his political cohorts as the constant major ruling force of the USA. He seems more interested in pushing the limits of his power than using it to the benefit of the people who put him in office. His pursuit of adulation and wealth borders on the insane, as does his pathological ability to find an insult or slight in everything people say about him. He seems to hate the same way he breathes: automatically and without cessation. He places absolutely no stock in his words, flinging them out without consideration and abandoning the ones he’s dropped in the past in favor of whatever he thinks will best suit his unknown and unfathomable agenda.
He’s pretty much the complete opposite of me, in every way I can find to make a measurable comparison.
To me, words are some of the most important things we have to offer to the world, though song or speech, book or movie, or even the more abstract expressions in the visual arts. Communication. Nothing is more important to me than how we communicate with each other and the ways we choose to do it. That’s the reason I’ve stuck with this admittedly rather dramatic name for my blog. I inwardly cringe ever so slightly every time I read it because it feels so “emo poetry” when I read it to myself. That’s not what the title means to me, though, even if I can’t help avoiding that meaning when I consider it (I mean, I’ve written some of that cringy emo poetry, so I know how it can appeal to a person).
The tagline under the title, “The words of power that make, the words of point that take: no matter what one may say, if you use these words they break.” is the last stanza of a poem I wrote from a collection I’ve never really shown to many people that I call “Speechless.” I struggle with finding the right words a lot. I’ve always liked to take the time I feel I need to be sure of what I’m saying and there are a lot of times I’ve stayed silent because I wasn’t able feel that level of surety. Sometimes I found them too late to be of any good to me and sometimes I never found them at all.
Poetry has always been an emotional outlet for me, a way to take something I’m experiencing and put it outside of myself in a way that I can start to deal with it. For all of the “Speechless” poems, they’re all about times that words failed me. From the simple one-stanza “Words” to the much longer “Broken Words” that goes on for about three pages, they’re all about times I felt myself inadequate to the task of properly expressing myself.
This blog, for those who don’t care to look back to the first post, was supposed to be an attempt by me to push back against my tendency toward silence and my feelings of being inadequate when it comes to self-expression, which is why it was given the same name as the poem that is probably not only the core poem in the “Speechless” collection but may also be the best poem I’ve ever written. “Broken Words” is all about the power that words have and the fact that they will never mean entirely the same thing twice.
Sure, every word has a dictionary definition, but each word we use is affected by the words around it, by who says and when they say it, by the reason they are perceived to have said it and the reason they actually said it, by the way the listener heard it and by the way it might have been overheard by someone else. Words, like people, don’t exist in a vacuum. They’re constantly evolving and their meanings are always open to some interpretation. They’re little crystalline pieces of ourselves that we send out into the world to never get back, even if no one else heard them. Whether they’re the good parts of ourselves or the bad parts is up to the speaker, but they’re always a part of us and they always shatter as soon as they tumble from our mouths or occupy pixels on a screen, never to be seen in entirely the same way again.
I can promise this blog won’t become a platform solely for speaking out against the bullshit I see in the world, but I can’t promise that it won’t more often be my soap box than my creative outlet. As I’ve always wanted to say and never had the chance to, you can’t make a change in the world without breaking a few thousand words.