March 07, 2011

The Written Word.

Come to think of it, I have always enjoyed writing. According to my mother, already as a little girl, barely having learned to hold a pen in my hand, I wrote small stories. Mostly fiction I believe, products of my own imagination, although I recall vaguely being inspired by fairy tales read to me before bed time or recollections I overheard being told by others.

When I was about eight years old, I decided to write letters to all my relatives, pretty much everyone I could think off. I no longer remember the details, such as how I got hold of the addresses, but I know that without my parents knowledge, I send all the letters away. Without stamps. The idea of a paying a postage was not  included in my perception when it came to letter writing. However, I knew very well that the orange box at the corner of the street, on my way to school, was intended for the envelopes that somehow would find their way to the recipient.

I can not recall the outcome of the whole incident that well, only that my parents were anything but pleased when they learned that most of our relatives would have to pay a postage fine, as I obviously failed to include the return address.
However, I recall the fate of one letter - the one send to my grandparents, which was delivered around the time when my parents, my sister and I came by for a visit. My grandfather read the letter out loud to my great dismay and embarrassment. Still, I could clearly see that the aggravation on my parents face became displaced by a expression of amusement and fascination. Thus I guess eventually, they did forgive me.

Growing older, I endlessly enjoyed writing assays in high school as a teenager. I recall the scent of the large auditorium, where hundreds of students were confined for hours, in order to produce written stories on a given subject. Even though I was always apprehensive about any kind of test, as soon as the stillness settled over the large assembly hall, I got completely lost in my own thoughts, while the words effortlessly filled the blank paper in front of me. Depicting my visions in letters came easy to me and my good grades reflected this.


Unfortunately, my last teacher in this subject developed a dislike for me and my style. She focused blindly on all the grammar errors, which defined my writing, then undertaken in a foreign language, but which did not detract from the contents, as I have been told by my previous teachers. Her scrutiny, which was borderline viscous, deterred me from enjoying to write all together  - and I rather focused on channeling my imagination into painting instead.

When I begun to work in science as a young adult, I realized that as much as I loved the practical aspects of research, I also relished in compiling the data and I enjoyed writing scientific papers, something most other scientists detest.  However it was not until I started to write my posts here that I rediscover my passion for expressing myself in this way.

There is so much power in the written word. We all know it way too well, as we have all experienced a plethora of emotions when we read a great book. We become educated and enlightened, we can travel in time and space, we are touched to tears or amused until we laugh. The words create images in our perception, make us contemplate and envision or simply just provide a playground to our imagination.  Skillful writers have the potential to make a difference and the great literary works lining the bookshelves in famous or prestigious libraries bear witness to this fact.

To me writing has over the years become an outlet. Not just of the creative kind, the one I share with all of you here, where I can convey my impressions, thoughts and sentiments. There is also the therapeutic kind as well.

Almost any kind of pain or suffering can be channeled into words. Writing down what troubles me, in form of letters which will never become send, is an unusually effective relief. I guess, almost as a form of a diary, where private and personal thoughts are told to an unseen confidant in a written language, immortalizing ideas and feelings in a document seems to be not just a form of release, but also a way of organizing the train of dark thoughts. Once they leave my consciousness and become visualized on the screen in front of me, they feel less threatening and loose their hold on me.

As with any other kind of creativity, to write is to express ones innermost feelings and thoughts - by creating images using words and painting pictures with sentences. Whether shared with others or not, this creative outlet connects our imagination with our intellect,  reflecting and documenting our life and eventually immortalizing us in the written lines.

46 comments :

GrandmaK said...

I do enjoy my visits here. You have so much wisdom to offer, so many insights to share! Thank you...Cathy

Elizabeth said...

I'm very happy that you found your outlet in writing since your life is so full of special moments, you will always have something to writ about.

Mimi said...

"while the words effortlessly filled the blank paper in front of me" - you never lost it, Zuzana. I love reading your blog, and can sense the effortless flow of your writing.
It's great that you've found this outlet.

Mimi said...

Forgot to add, I was reading this weekend about an initiative here in Ireland. An Post, our postal service, offered people on one day to send hand-addressed letters for 1c. They made a fortune from the stamps when the recipients felt the need to reply, using full-price stamps!

Elisabeth said...

It's good Zuzana that you have managed to go against that critical teachers put downs and managed to keep writing.

This is a lovely story - letters to relatives at a cost, but they must have been delighted. Thanks Zuzana.

Gaston Studio said...

Lovely story Zuzana and, obviously, you have the gift of words yourself. Isn't blogging wonderful!

Colleen said...

You are a woman after my own heart. I completely understand what you are saying here as I have also experienced the same need to write. I found to that my hurts became less through writing and it is also a fabulous outlet for humorous observation which I enjoy as well. I write to capture moments. Words work better for me than a picture.:)

Your story about sending all of relatives letters is precious!:) I think I wouldn't have minded paying the postage fee!:)

Have a lovely day Zuzana.

Susan Deborah said...

What a sweet thing you are! I can imagine little Zuzana writing away to all her relatives. I found that so cute. Zuzana, so many common threads here. I have always enjoyed writing letters. We should exchange addresses right away. I will send you my address that you can write a letter to me.
I just love it when you share stories from your yester years. They enable me to know you in intimate ways.
Your stories are so very honest, tender and captivating. After all this I wonder what little Zuzana would have written to her grandparents that day :)

Joy always,
Susan

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Another personal story, about how Blogging has enriched one's life. Lovely...

Brian Miller said...

smiles. we share a love of words zuzana...i took up reading at an early age but it was years later that i discovered i could put them together myself...i started writing short stories in middle school and my high school english teacher is the one that really encouraged me...

Claus said...

I started writing letters only 6 years ago, and blogging shortly after. While my writing is not creative (stories, books, papers...) I felt in love with the written conversations, and the fact that I was able to use not only my mother tongue, but a foreign language. With time, I have gathered experience, and have learned to "interact" through letter writing, making the connection with the other person greater. That's, above everything, what I deeply love and appreciate. Who knew I could have such wonderful friends through this mean?! and through blogging! I may not be as experienced as others, and there surely is much for me to learn, but so far, I am enjoying it!
have a lovely day!!

Bossy Betty said...

Writing has always been an outlet and a refuge for me. I understand your post completely. It also shows the power of teachers and how our lives can be affected by others.

Thanks for this lovely, thoughtful post. Now, I have to go write....

Ann Nichols said...

Oh yes... the written word is mighty; almost as mighty as the spoken word! You know, I had a teacher who was just the opposite of the one you had. I can still remember her telling me, "Don't worry about your spelling, Ann, or the grammar - just get your thoughts down! You write beautifully!" Such an inspiring young teacher!
Blessings for a lovely week of inspiration and beauty, dear Zuzana!
Ann

Sophia's Lover said...

Sizzling hot chocolate
and coffee with a dash of liquer.
A snowfall
winter in paris
chocolate chaux en hiver
ballet slippers hanging from
the ballet bars
a grammophone left playing
while no ones in the room.

thanks.

Myrna R. said...

You sparked some memories for me. My love of writing has been an interesting process. Like you, I've developed a love of writing which now spills over to other forms of creativity.

I'm glad you write because I enjoy reading your stories so much.

Kath said...

You have such a beautiful way with words and I am very envious :-D
You paint a magical picture in my head when you describe your life, your loves, your family and home. Thankyou dear Zuzana xx

ladyfi said...

This post really resonates with me. I too loved writing letters - very very long ones - to my relatives...

It's such a shame to have a pleasure stunted by a narrow-minded teacher, but thank goodness you have re-discovered the pleasure of writing now!

tony said...

The writing & Recieving Of A Letter Is Becoming Something Of A "Lost Art".Which Is A Sad Development.I
Cant Remember The Last Time I Wrote A Letter To A Friend.
Blogs&Tweets&IM's etc are all very well, but to recieve & hold a personal letter from another is a joy I must rekindle!
Have Yourself A Fine week Zuzana .

Darla said...

Beautiful . . . I found myself nodding my head in agreement throughout the entire post with the odd sensation of how resonant the words felt.

adrielleroyale said...

Brilliantly said and I feel the same. Poetry and writing is for me a sort of therapy and working it out as I go. I get answers to my questions or at the very least release from their weight.
blessings! :)

Sukanya said...

Very true Zuzana. Writing has a distinct power to it. And you definitely use that power very well Zuzana. As I've mentioned earlier, you have a beautiful writing style with which you express the most common of things so differently and easily.

Keep Writing my dear friend.

Cheers,
Sukanya

Ms.Chief loves wigwams! said...

You write so beautifully, its always a pleasure to share the reflections in the written word, or rather typed font ha ha. Written or typed the words do carry some catalytic power, the energy of the creator which in turn can, inadvertently or intentional, become the energy of the recipient. Working in holistic health care, I had a phase of having to write to my clients who lived across seas & continents etc. Yet the power of written/typed words absorbing, dissolving into their consciousness were exactly as if they were in my treatment room. Letters are so beautiful, especially receiving a hand written letter nowadays is just so personal & rare!! Yet the echoes of the written word can last a lifetime. Keep writing Dear Zuzana :) It would be lovely if all relatives had kept your little letters & you were able to re read them all now :)

Lord Thomas of Wellington said...

That is too cute about sending letters without the postage. :)
You are a wonderful creative writer and always inspire me.

Angela Bell said...

You say it all so well! Life without words and writing would be impossible for me impossible.You are inspiring.

Betsy said...

Isn't it interesting that teachers can inspire us or discourage us? My oldest has an excellent mind for math and loved it until a certain high school teacher discouraged him like that.

Love the story of the letters to your relatives! :)

We type so much these days that when I do pick up and pen to write I find that I really enjoy it. There's nothing like the smoothness of a good pen on paper!

A Lady's Life said...

Everything you said is soo true.
I found my old diary and reading it was like reading something some one else wrote.
I forgot so much and then a lot of things that happened at that time made no sense to me back then but now I understand. lol
And it was an outlet to write things
you didn't want others to know and getting them down on paper made it easier to live with.
But times change and people change but history repeats itself.lol

SandyCarlson said...

That was an endearing story about the letters to the family! Too funny about the postage.

I am glad your fault-finding teacher did not put out the light for you. You are a wonderful writer.

Hilary said...

Wonderfully told with all your beautiful words. The story about the letters to your relatives was so sweet.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

I feel sad that you had a critical teacher...so many of these criticisms STOP people from pursuing things THEY LOVE!! So glad you persevered. Writing is very therapeutic!

Rajesh said...

Wonderful. I had once written a love letter to one of the girl in the family and got caught pretty bad.

Cottage Garden said...

Dear Zuzana

You were born to be a writer. To document your life and feelings in such a compelling and engrossing way is a gift. I'm so glad that your experience of an overly-critical teacher failed to dent confidence in your own unique ability.

Good to hear that your blog break was enjoyable and refreshing.

Jeanne
xx

Velvet Over Steel said...

I am so very, very glad that you didn't forever give up writing after the terrible teacher. That can be so harmful with many talents, but esp. with writing and art of any kind. My sons had a very untalented art teacher in school who did the same exact, by the book art projects for her entire 30 years of teaching. Really, my boys brought home the same project that my brother and I did 'way back when'. She always critisized their 'uniqueness' and true talent. Both ignored her thank goodness. One is a graphic designer and artist in Chicago now & the other does drawing and painting as his stress release/hobbie selling his work at art showcases. Anyway, I am glad you Write, Zuzana!! You are so very talented and inspiring with your words and positive, loving attitutde towards others!!! It's so Awesome to come here and read your post!!! Wish I had more time to be a better blogging friend. I do my best, but must come over here more!!

Have a Great week, Zuzana!!!
Hugs,
Coreen xoxoxo

Shanae Branham said...

I enjoyed your musing about writing. Writing has a way of healing the soul for me. I am glad I stopped by today.

young-eclectic-encounters said...

What a wonderful post. So much to think about. You have a wonderful way with words. I to have found much to enjoy in writing in journal keeping and now in blogging. I've been reading a book about the power of the written word and of story called 'Storycatcher' which is available on Amazon. I checked it out at the library, but I think you would enjoy it.
Johnina :^A
thanks for stopping by my blog. All the photos were taken within a day or two of posting. The tree is an ornamental pear.

Indie.Tea said...

What a lovely entry. I enjoyed your perspective on writing. It IS indeed therapeutic. I also find it satisfying, in struggling to find the right words to say - my posts take me a very long time to compose - and the satisfaction of finding the words...

Michael Manning said...

What an amazing journey that I related to looking back onmy own life, Zuzana! I too had teachers who could appreciate what I wrote, and others who were unkind--to be generous. Keep the child in you and your passion alive! A great post!! xoxo :)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

I absolutely share your views on writing and its power. Wonder whether you are planning to write a book, a novel for example.

Shanae Branham said...

Back again to say thank you for the wonderful comments you left about Coreen. I appreciate your openness to share your feelings!

artswebshow.com said...

I do like to write and i completely relate to your thoughts and reasons,
Write on, rock on

Sandy said...

Lucky you to have this talent! I struggle to write mainly due to my horrible spelling...but also because words do not come easy for me.

Zuzana said...

Cathy, Elizabeth, Mimi, Elisabeth, Jane, Colleen, Susan, Amelia, Brian, Claudia, Betty, Ann, SL, Myrna, Kath, ladyfi, tony, Darla, adrielle, Sukanya, P, Lord Thomas, Angela, Betsy, Lady, Sandy, Hilary, Jill, Rajesh, Jeanne, Coreen, Shanae (welcome), Johnina, Indie.Tea, Michael, Philip, Richard and Sandy - thank you so much my dear friends for all these lovely comments, that made me smile and warmed my heart.

I am so glad you that enjoy reading these small stories describing my past and find them amusing and interesting. I am also glad to learn that you all can relate to the art of writing and recognize it as a creative and therapeutic outlet.

Your kind words of compliments and your frequent visits are by far the best feedback to the writing I share with you here – and for that I am endlessly so very grateful.

Xoxo
Zuzana

steviewren said...

What fun to read about your long time love affair with pen and paper!

When I was young I wanted to grow up and write mystery stories. When I grew up I realized that I had no idea how to write believable dialogue. Writing for my blog has offered me the outlet that I could never find in a journal. So like you, I have rediscovered my love of the idea of writing things that others would enjoy reading.

Gal Friday said...

I have always marveled at your way with the written word here in your blog entries, ever since I started reading your blog.
I was never a writer(a reader, yes...and a visual artist since childhood), but since having a blog(for quite a few years now), I have developed another way of expressing myself.

Blog Princess G said...

You are a true writer of great quality... have a lovely weekend, dear Z. xoxo

Zuzana said...

Stevie, Tina and BPG - thank you ladies for your kind words and for taking the time to read this longer post - so glad you enjoyed this recollection.;)
Xoxo
Zuzana

Matty said...

I have always had an interest in reading and writing. Math, the sciences, other subjects and I were worlds apart. But I always a knack for writing. However, revealing yourself through writing takes courage. I've been blogging for less than two years, and am only recently posting articles that really have anything to do with the real me. Baby steps for me.

P.S. Cute story about writing and sending those letters.