Choosing Our Words

Last week in my post, I equated the word small with insignificant. One of my friends reminded me that small also means small – tiny, little in comparison with something enormous like space. I meant insignificant, she meant tiny. Finding the right words can make a difference in our ability to express ourselves.

My husband and I assembled a bed this past week.

As we positioned the top full-size bunk over the bottom full-size bunk, we struggled for the right words. “Move to your left, I mean my left!” Directions eventually became – “Move toward the door. Move more toward the window. Grab that thing. What thing????” I’m sure you get the picture.

I had a writing teacher who told us to go through our writing and find all the adverbs and then replace them with a more descriptive verb. For example, instead of walking slowly, use sauntered or crept or ambled or drifted. Each verb creates a picture.

Sometimes it is a struggle to find the right words. I use the word God for what I believe is the all-encompassing available energy of love that exists in the universe. What I call God is impossible to express with words. However, the words we do use need to be well chosen. I have stopped using any pronoun for God. It’s too limiting. Father is also difficult because some of us have too much baggage with our “earthly fathers”. I sometimes use the word “Love” with a capital L.

Language can be limiting.

Except the language of love – music.

Music is so much better than lots of words. I listen to endless songs and marvel at how the notes elicit different feelings and spark creative thoughts. Whenever I preach a sermon and I’m grasping for a way to explain what is inexplicable, I hope there is an anthem that will bring home the message.

My husband and I listened to the an audio book “Project Hail Mary” on a road trip. An astronaut meets an alien who talks through musical notes. I’m not sure how the alien’s music was expressed in the written book but listening to the notes in the audio book we knew immediately what the alien was trying to say. The astronaut created a spreadsheet with musical notes and what they meant so he could translate what the alien was trying to communicate. The book is worth a listen.

I have certain pieces of music that I listen to or play when I’m feeling a certain way. Sometimes, the piece communicates grief or sadness, sometimes it accentuates my feelings of joy. Sometimes I listen to music to give me energy or to create a change in mood.

Music is the international language or maybe even the universal language. I know it is my way to God.

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

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