Don’t get me wrong. They can be stubborn, too. Not really helping you to explain yourself right away—when you know doggone well they have the capability. They can be like dolphins, keeping you in a protective circle away from snarky ideas that seep in the deep, dark waters of your mind. Or they might just push you over the unknown cliffs of your own desire to know yourself better, to express yourself, to make a noise that is your own attempt at something like art or conversation.
At best they are like flat stones. You can skip them across the surface of the day. You can use them to smash unfair windows or bean an unsuspecting buddy with or catch someone’s undivided attention if you get the lucky ones. I guess they are a kind of a universal free for all. That makes them both sweet and dangerous I suppose.
All I can say is I've grown quite used to them being all around the house. Sometimes they cuss a little too much I've noticed. Sometimes they tease mercilessly, but mostly they just pile up on the kitchen counter like acorns, or they stack on top of the glass tables like collectible photo cards and keep the lamps company, day and night. I don’t think they ever truly sleep, I think what they do is they wait. Wait to explode. Wait to nourish if you will. Wait to whisper. To laugh. To cry. To poke. To joke. To explain. To puzzle. To test. To spin. To begin. To end. To create. To imagine. To whine. To moan. To mean. To invent. To take you away. To return you home again.
They make for an interesting game of mind chess or maybe a very tricky opponent in a video game. You get the picture. They are magic. Magic beans. And that means you must be very careful around them. They might get you to say something you’ll regret later on. But of course there are other, kinder, and more thoughtful words willing to help you dig yourself out of a hole if you need them. Some would just as soon push you in. Did I say that?
Here’s the point: both philosophers and linguists have concluded that words can do real things in the real world where we live. They should be chosen carefully. They may be small, but they pack a powerful punch. They can blow things up very quickly and make them raw. They can just as easily calm things down a bit and start the healing process. They can rant and rave with the best of them. They can pray like saints. They can raise the dead in comic book lands, but they really shouldn't hurt anyone. That’s where you and I come in. We are the shepherds of the words of now and the caretakers of the words of once. They are our primary responsibility, to keep them safe and sound. To not let them run out into oncoming traffic and cause a panic, but to use them wisely and with great good will towards all.
That doesn't mean you can’t be creative or original. What it means is you are not a slave owner, no matter how god-like your sentences make you feel. You are a co creator with the words you use, however you use them, of the world we all live in together. You and your words are affecting us at all times and in all circumstances, whether you mean them to or not. They are in the air. They are part of our air that we breathe. They and the air are one.
Luckily there are many, many interesting and exciting words to choose from. This gives you the freedom of expression that you long for and that is the key to using your words perfectly well today and every day.