March 07, 2011
The Written Word.
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.
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.
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.