The writer who hates words

Antithetical. I am an antithetical person. I am a writer who hates words.

Not the written word though and that perhaps saves the grace I hope for in authorship. Well, not fiction that is. Fiction is a peculiarity in of itself though in the world of words. Fiction is the telling of truth through lies, painted and velvet lies.

But the words of the real world, in both speech and interpersonal writings, are more often lies told through truth — that is to say,  told concretely, firmer than the ground we stand upon. And yet in essence, they are will-o’-the-wisps, gossamer specters that give at our reach.

Yet, even in the moments when they attain the surety of fiction, they seem to be worthless and impotent and inferior. How many times have you had words for a grieving heart that has ameliorated such a condition? Even Shakespeare’s finest would be deemed unfit for utterance when confronting such sorrow.

That is not meant as an aspersion but rather a truth we must see. Life, our lives, are extradictionary — consisting not of words but of solidity, not of well wishes but tears brought to tissue. But that isn’t how we live.

We are a people of words more than ever and more than ever I wish we were a people of deeds. We can not live in the starlight lies of fiction. They are untouchable and unknowable and unlivable to us who live. We offer each other beautiful lies and ugly truths by speaking roses and living nightshade.

I guess the age old wisdom for writing is as apt for living as it is for writing: “Show, don’t tell.”


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