Archives for posts with tag: angry words

Please note: this is not the usual thing, I think, and I’m not really sure quite what “set me off”. I feel vaguely inclined to apologize, or perhaps to at least give you an opportunity to reconsider this one, so… here’s me, alerting you that this is some pent-up ancient anger simmering just under the surface, and, well… a bit of it seeped through, somehow, and bubbled up… and spilled over. So. Angry ranting ahead. Choose wisely. ūüėČ ‚̧

One more chance to choose perspective and beauty. Angry ranting ahead… you’ve been warned. ūüôā

I made the mistake of scrolling through Facebook first, this morning. Gross. Seeing the ethical and moral decline of a country I feel part of, connected to, is frankly super depressing and… provoking. It irks me to deal with the constant continued attack on women, on people of color, on people who face economic disadvantages, on people who choose reason, on science (and scientists)… all so a small handful of rich old white guys can fatten up their bank accounts and afford enough great medical care to manage a few more self-congratulatory erections and strut around impressing themselves while others suffer. It’s fairly sad and pathetic, on the one hand, and on the other… it enrages me. I’m frustrated, and my emotions bounce between anarchistic anger, and immobilizing learned helplessness; I am not an old rich white guy, not the daughter, wife, or chattel of an old rich white guy, nor subject to any clear benefit that they exist. Still… I persist. It’s an ugly, hateful system that preys on the weak, robs the poor, and penalizes the outspoken.

On the other hand, when I lift my head from Facebook, and put down the new media’s aggressive outrage-generating machinery, and interact directly with the world, I find myself connecting with a lot of other people who, just like me, are angry and unwilling to sit down and shut up about it. I’ve unhesitatingly ended friendships over the past two years solely because I was not inclined to participate in hate. (I’m not seeking praise for that; I have things to atone for over a long life. I will not reach the end of this journey able to say “I never hated anyone and always did my best and cared for my fellow travelers”, and I often find myself so very angry.) I see other people – real people – who actually care. I don’t mean grand gestures that demonstrate with big obvious public actions that we need to care. I don’t mean running for office or protesting in the streets. Those things are needed, too, but… I mean, I see every day people helping each other out, being kind, offering support in a difficult moment, expressing affection, sharing… those things give me hope. There aren’t enough of those things. There’s a lot of fucking hate.

So, I put aside Facebook this morning, resolving to log off social media for the weekend and get some digital downtime. The world can wait on my anger for some other day. I need some rest and I need to recharge and take care of the being of light resting within this fragile vessel.

My heart feels heavy when I think of women who won’t have healthcare forced to bear children they don’t want, on poor timing, because their consent is not sufficiently respected, or who don’t have easy access to birth control. I think of women and girls who could turn the world around with scientific breakthroughs, improvements in technology, great works of engineering, art, or philosophy who lose their opportunity through a willful institutionalized lack of basic respect. I think about women of color. I think about women in poverty. I think about mentally ill women. I think about the woman in the mirror. It feels like a very personal attack on me as a woman every time I see some smug rich geriatric white asshole in office smirking over something else he’s just done or said that diminishes women. If I say so, I get called angry. Fuck yes, I’m angry. Why wouldn’t I be? Do the simple thought exercise; turn the tables in any direction you choose, change the balance of power and put yourself at a chronic institutionalized legislated disadvantage – however you identify yourself, in whatever class or group – make sure you add a hearty helping of no one takes you seriously about that, so you can be both frustrated and demeaned, and take that shit for a test drive. No heroics, make it real. Is it too hard? Well, too bad – at least you get to choose whether to think about it.

Privilege being what it is, I find it hard to see my own. I’ve been making an effort to really really try – because it matters, and because hate is so pervasive, and those who hate tend to be so fucking self-righteous, justified and self-congratulatory about it. I want no part of hate. ¬†I study. I listen. I mean, I really full fucking stop take time to listen. It can be hard to hear that I share characteristics with a “problem class of individuals” being both white, and at a point in my life when most of my basic needs are relatively well-met. It’s still necessary to listen, and to understand, and to be part of changing the world.

I’m sure old rich republican white guys think they’re doing women who rely on Planned Parenthood a real favor – go ahead, ask them, they will shove some line of clueless bullshit your way so fast you’ll need an army of fact-checkers on meth to sort that shit out in time to stop some internet troll from climbing on board to turn it into “news”. I’m not immune to being human, and I know I can, will, and do make mistakes that have the potential to hurt people…¬†but I don’t want to be someone insensitive to the impact of my choices on the world around me. Caring matters. Compassionate awareness matters. Acknowledging mistakes matters. ¬†I mean… I killed a spider this morning… as killings go, fairly inconsequential and commonplace… but… I bet it seemed like a big deal to that fucking spider. :-\ I think I’ve come some distance as a human being, from the point at which I started life; I have mixed feelings about killing that spider.

Wow. Start the morning with angst-y angry ranting? Why, yes thanks, I think I shall. <sigh> All too human. I think I’ll have a second coffee… and begin again. ūüėČ

Before we get a lot farther, I’ll say first that I am not holding any significant credentials in¬†linguistics, semantics, or language. ¬†All views expressed are those of… me. Just me. My thoughts. My observations. My judgement. My bias. My baggage. ¬†All filtered through my own experiences, my perspective on life, love and the world, my history as a human being, my education – and lack of education, the reading I have done, the consideration I have given all these things, and finally assembled as neatly as possible as a string of words in a row, hoping to capture what I think I mean to say, to share with you. ¬†Ready? ūüėÄ

There is more to a sunny day than meets the eye; what we see is rarely all there is.

There is more to a sunny day than meets the eye; what we see is rarely all there is.

I say a lot about words. I do so using the words themselves. I share my thoughts using words. I share most of my emotional experience using words; the portions of that shared wordlessly, through non verbal expression of feelings, is not very precise and easily misunderstood or taken personally by others. I recall things that happened before now using words. Words are the building blocks of my poetry, my captions, my titles, and my jokes. Words are what I use to write love notes, and consumer feedback, to express my delight and my outrage. Words deliver hurts and words nurture my soul. Words define experiences, things, and people and they describe places, events, and experiences. Words tell profound truths, and also terrible lies. Words expose what is real, and are also used to attempt to hide what is real, or alter a shared understanding of reality. Words are used to threaten, to coerce, to convince, to persuade, to celebrate, to mourn, to immortalize, to laud and to punish. Words  are powerful. Powerful like Science. Powerful like magic. We are words as much as we are stardust; even Carl Sagan used words to communicate what he understood about life, the world, and the heavens.

I giggle to myself, at least once or twice, when I read books about words. There’s just something about it that tickles me.

A former partner, years ago, once firmly advised me in a moment of strife, that it ‘didn’t count’ if I had to be told what he wanted to hear; that soothing words, comforting words, romantic words, supportive and nurturing words only count if the speaker comes up with it on their own, from their heart, with no help from the person who needs to hear the words. An interesting thought that relies heavily on the assumption that love allows us to read minds. lol I didn’t find it to be an accurate statement, myself, but I admit it was entirely true of my then-partner, who would reliably refuse any comfort or positive outcome from any words he’d been party to suggesting might be good ones to use in that moment. (It seems unnecessary to point out the choice being made there.)

Another partner once merrily chuckled playfully (in a moment of domestic-not-quite-bliss, having provided a clear specific suggestion of the words he most needed to hear in that ¬†moment, and having heard them repeated back by his loving partner, in ¬†sincere and heartfelt way, honest in intent, although lacking in originality), “Knows answer when told…” and as though taking notes or scoring a test, made a check mark in the air, over an imaginary clipboard. We cracked up together; it’s a moment and phrase that still sticks with me, and not solely because of shared military experience (from whence that quote comes, actually being used in military scoring of certain task testing). He makes different¬†choices, and he felt cared for because he used his words – and so did his partner.

I’m just saying; words matter. They matter when we listen, and they matter when we speak.

The words themselves are less about originality than the order in which they are used (there are only so many to choose from, and some are favored above all others; obviously, originality is not the issue), and whether we feel heard when we use them, or how we are spoken to when we hear them (which is a very subjective thing that I suspect we entirely make up in our heads as we go).  There are books about words, about how to use them, what they mean, and when they are most effective for what purposes. There are books that simply list words other people have said, in the order spoken, and saved on record as being peculiarly useful, effective, amusing, or historically noteworthy. There are letters and love notes of such awesome craftsmanship that their emotive power is preserved in them, and they are referenced and shared down through the years as culturally significant.

I’m just saying; words really matter – enough that it is worthwhile to put some thought into the words we choose.

Nearly every moment of wonder, of love, of delight in my own experience has been framed up in words, if not in the moment, sometime soon after when I share it with someone else. ¬†The profound love I share with my partners is expressed to me wordlessly, often, sure – but as¬†often, my recollection of expressions of love is in words. The eager goals of our future are shared in words. The challenges we face together, or with each other, are discussed in words. My own growth and progress with myself as a being is shared with my loved ones – and in my blog – with words. My annual review at work is in words. All the words – each of them – bring a shade of meaning to my experience I might have lacked, or understood differently, without the words, themselves. I can tell someone I love them without using words…but I can’t tell them why, or how much, or explain the nuances of what they mean to me, without the words. I can cry out in pain or anguish without words, but I can’t tell someone what is wrong, or ask for help, without the words to do so.

So…yeah. Words matter…but…they’re also totally made up. Seriously. We created each one, and someone (generally the person who thought up the word, at least initially) also made up what the word will be used to convey. What words mean changes over time, with usage. Some people are very precise with their use of language. Some people are sloppy and careless to the point of being difficult to understand, or communicating something more about their education, or character, through their choices with words. There are so many words, and still there are ideas for which no word yet exists; new ones come into being all the time. We communicate and we miscommunicate using words. Words we made up. Words we defined. Words we choose to use. We create our own experience, and color it, with words we choose ourselves, and call our ‘thoughts’; we behave as though they are real, and follow them with our actions and moods until they are.

Yes. Words matter, and I’m just saying; use your words. Use them wisely. Use them with care. Use them, don’t let them just tumble out of your face hole randomly. Use them with awareness that they are easily ‘weaponized’ and awareness that you have the power to hurt someone with words in ways that are not easily healed. We accept that actions have consequences fairly easily; words, too, have consequences.

Another perspective on a sunny day.

Another perspective on a sunny day.

Today is a good day to use kind words. Today is a good day to express myself with great clarity. Today is a good day to hear what is said, and to take a moment to understand the words. Today is a good day to consider my words, and their merit, and to use them with great care. Today is a good day to build truth, and to use honest words. Today is a good day to love, and to say so with loving words. Today is a good day for praise and encouraging words. Today is a good day to contemplate words that convey beauty and words that communicate a better understanding. Today is a good day to change the words.