The Word vs. my words

You know that feeling when a connection suddenly clicks in your mind? It is enlightening, almost joyful. I have even experienced it to be mind-boggling. Connections can be and are made all the time, connections that weave our world and those in it together. Connections – like the strands of a spider’s web – bond together for strength and bring us sustenance. When a new connection is made it is like a door opens:  To understanding. To healing.

About a year ago I had coffee with a successful author (Pulitzer/Emmy kind of successful) at a local cafe. He is a lovely grandfatherly man; he made me laugh and feel confident about my little aspiring-writer-self. I was just starting graduate school and he was interested in hearing about my studies. I told him about my fundamentalist religious upbringing and how I planned to write a memoir. As I explained to him my hopes for Transformative Language Arts to release me from the grip of the negative self-beliefs that religious dogma and tunnel-vision has the potential to instill,  Mr. Pultizer quipped, “The Word.” I laughed at his pun but  immediately understood he had just said something very significant.

Yes, how ironic that I would be using words to release myself from The Word! But the deeper meaning I couldn’t quite place. It nagged at me. I pondered it, I mind-mapped it, I played with more word association, but still I couldn’t quite make the connection I felt was hidden there.

One year later, I am lying in bed after waking from a particularly symbolic dream, trying to wrap my head around all its meanings. Suddenly, the connection between “The Word” and my writing of words clicked into place. I don’t know if the answer lay in the dream – which on the surface appeared completely unrelated – or if my dreamy state of mind had allowed meanings from deeper depths to float up. Either way, the connection was made.

And It has to do with Authority (Author-ity).  And Knowing. And Voice. And Balance of inner and outer, left and right, rules and compassion, body and mind… everything my thesis studies have been focused on but which I hadn’t quite pieced together coherently.

And so, while my intuition knew that my author friend’s off-the-cuff pun was important, it took a whole year to percolate into something of substance. Our unconscious knows more than we know we know, but give it time and the pieces will eventually develop into a whole picture. One man, one conversation, one word – The Word – and a new door opened (albeit very slowly!) to connection, to new understanding.

Prompt: “I never made the connection until…”


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