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In the beginning were words...

Updated on December 12, 2012
brightforyou profile image

Retired counselor, 341 short stories published by FSU. I have 4 sons, love sharing photography, writing, love travel, sunshine, sea & Grace.


Life began when I could understand words. My days and sense of self were gauged good or bad, by the words (and emotion) directed at me. Unfortunately these were mostly ugly, bitter and negative labels which stuck, and left me bereft of an authentic self.

Words hurt me deeply and indelibly; weapons of destruction more powerful than any gun. After this 'second abandonment' I was alone, small and very frightened. I guess I shut down to survive, and an automaton of myself somehow lived through it.

Around age 5 or 6, words excited me and became my sanctuary; I learned the gift of reading! My first reading book was called "A moon-Light Night" and I read it over and over. Even when I knew it verbatim, I still got joy from the story.

As a young child I never understood why I knew the meaning of a difficult word instinctively; my hand would go up in class whenever our English teacher put forth a new word. I was (and still am) moved to deep emotion by books and impressionable; (which has had its ups and downs)!

The books I read nourished me and I became the dreamer, believing in magic and salvation, ever fearful of the "Evil Witch" (who happened to be my foster-parent). To this day, I remember perfectly, words from books and songs that transported me into a loving world where anything was possible.

Around the age of 13 I began writing stories and wrote a school play and have written ever since. I was either born a storyteller, or was led to writing so I could find out more about love, life and ultimately myself.

Now, being able to retell my experiences not only helps me relive them, but keeps them solidified forever. A writer, leaves their essence etched in every word; regardless of the material. It is an act of love and reverence for words; for the way they can be sculpted to evoke all range of emotions, or impart knowledge, facilitate understanding and bring clarity.


In the weaving of words, which oftentimes spew forth unbidden ~ writers are able to grasp hold of a concept and shape a piece of work which may stay in our heart and mind forever ~ in this way, we both give and receive.

I don't always get the 'weaving' exactly right, but when I do, there is such a sense of satisfaction and joy. I then read over and wonder where it came from! I believe the ability to use words powerfully and artfully comes from something outside of ourselves; a concept followed by a rush of words which we then hone and refine.

When I get an idea, I have to purge the urgency ; get it out, write it down and then edit or add without ruining the piece.

As small child I learned pain and rejection through bitter words directed at me, but also fairytale books where I could escape reality. Now that I understand their power, I hope my words provoke, evoke, amuse, inform or sooth.




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    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you so much for your very kind comment!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think your words do all of those things. You are very talented.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by. Glad I was able to gentle 'poke' you~! Have a very Happy New Year!

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 

      8 years ago

      You definetely learned how to put them together. I felt a good range of emotions here which you so gently poked at. Looking forward to more.

    • profile image

      Phyllis 

      8 years ago

      I really do enjoy reading your articles. There is depth in what you are saying that I can relate to. I can tell through your writing that it is from the heart and you have such a beautiful way of portraying it. Keep up the good work as I will keep reading them and passing it on to all my friends. Best of luck.

    • petermdhart profile image

      petermdhart 

      8 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      I see this is evolving. Revealing, insightful, and honest. It is true that until we understand words life doesn't have any meaning and just "is". I am sure many of us identify with how words injure us. I love the line 'purging the urgency' ~ thanks for another beautiful piece of work

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi Lorlie6, thanks for stopping by and for your comments which I really appreciate. I haven't read The Phantom Tollbooth - but will now! (Growing up in UK in the 50's and early 60's, not sure it was available then).

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Your passion and enthusiasm for reading and writing shine through in this hub, brightforyou. I feel a sort of childhood connection with you in my advanced understanding of words, which was fairly unheard of at the time. Did you ever read "The Phantom Tollbooth?" Loved it.

      Thanks.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi Rose, thanks for stopping by and for your comments - I was just being provocative about the Bible verse - its so true that we don't know what/who we are until we read what we wrote!

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Words are so powerful and they can be used for good or evil. I like what you said about learning about yourself through your writing. It reminded me of the words of Flannery O'Connor: "I don't know what I think until I read what I say."

      I don't think that Bible verse really applies to creativity though. It seems to be specifically about Christ. But we are given the gift of creativity.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I guess is we are "made in His image" then we are all co-creators... just read your poem "Lost in side of you" - very lovely, thank you.

    • profile image

      seasoning 

      8 years ago

      mmmmmmmmmmmm so it could i suppose, just read it again, i likes it.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I guess so - but it could also refer to creativity ??

    • profile image

      seasoning 

      8 years ago

      yep i think i agree with a lot of that. Does that scripture actually refer to Christ, i think it does.

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