I don’t always add comments to a writer’s submitted work that is published here on Two Drops of Ink because we want the focus to be on their work; however, I wanted to point out a couple of observations about Michelle’s piece that are worth noting. First, she does a great job of using metaphors and simile in her writing. Her writing style waxes poetic in spite of the fact that it’s a memoir of her writing experiences, fears, victories, etc. Finally, she artfully breaks the rules of Standard English Grammar with the use of sentence fragments which she strategically placed to enhance her message. These are all rhetorical devices that we can learn from as writers. Good job Michelle.
The Power of Words
By Michelle Gunnin
What is it about words? A fascination? A feeling? They are almost magical in their ability to capture the pictures in my head. They whirl around in there, like a thundercloud full of droplets ready to unload in a deluge…or they dance and flit gently like a butterfly from place to place. Whether it be a flood or a sprinkling, words fill spaces in my soul. The deep spaces. The wondering spaces. The spaces with questions and stories and ideas and feelings. Even the empty spaces in my soul have invisible words in them.
Soul-Words are different from the ones on the television, or the radio. They are different than the noisy-clangy-loud words spewed or spoken, softly or shouted. They are part of ME, and when I share them on screen or page, I give myself away. The depth of heart or mind shared in wistful ways. Ways that no one else on the planet could share them. Ways that form alphanumeric characters into characters…who have lives and exist only in my imagination, until words bring them into being. Letters on a page that can communicate happiness or hate depending on their order. Symbols that poets and scientists alike use to commune with their thoughts and feelings. Therein lies the magic. Creation, curiosity, and courage. The boldness of Soul-Words made manifest.
Unless apprehension takes hold of me. The fear of vulnerability, soul-exposure, is a real thing. Dare I do it? Put my sacred words out there for the world to see? Hesitation is death. The “what if” questions kill them before they can create their magic. What if no one likes what I have to say? What if I am wrong? What if this is stupid?
Risk. A word that brings with it a thrill of possibility and a hint of dread. One word. It can release me to freedom or send me underground. It is up to me to choose it. The wrestling match in my head, the carefully chosen text, the movement from head to paper, the emotions captured, the thoughts retained, the soul revealed…all of it a process, in which the mind mist parts and clarity come forth crisp and clear. Or not. It is the not which causes the knot…in the pit of my stomach. It is the knot that holds me back. The wondering if my words are good enough. If I am good enough. What if I am not?
Even still, my soul cries out to be heard. My heart beats with a hope that this time, I will release it from its silence. The pent up feelings, the unuttered thoughts clamor to my hands. Painting pictures with all the color, depth, and texture using only one brush…words. They are falling, pouring out. Myself. My heart exposed. Me on a page. And maybe you too. Maybe your soul and mine join one another. Maybe you feel my soul, and now we are not alone, but together. Bonded by courage and risk. Connected. Merged. Fused in a moment or for a lifetime. Such is the magic, the enticing draw, and the power…of words.
Michelle Gunnin an everyday woman who is a writer, a wife, a mom of four nearly grown children, a teacher, a colleague, a sister, and a daughter. She is also a cancer survivor, a caregiver, and a recovering Pharisee. She has more questions than answers, and she writes to explore both. She is determined to be in the moment and live fully…both things life has taught her. You can follow her blog at michellesmosaic.wordpress.com