Words Are Our Weakest Hold on the World

As a writer, I use words all the time. To try an and capture the rush of action. The crush of emotion. Or even the majesty of the natural world. And each and every time I fail.

Alberto Ríos stated that “words are our weakest hold on the world.” And I fully believe it. Yet, why do I still try?

Some of it is stubborn determination. It’s not pigheadedness. I simply need to reach for that unattainable goal. A winner celebrates their victory. But a champion keeps running, striving for perfection. But they will never achieve it. It’s the goal that’s important. Not the achievement of it. 

But there’s more to this and it lies in the purpose of art. Our desire to capture even a fleeting glimpse of the world. Recreate what we experience in our mind on the page or in a melody. A sense of holding on to time and a way to prove that we were here. We lived and experienced this. 

In our effort to grasp the ephemeral moment, the effort requires a mixture of skill and the ability to trust the raw emotions of your gut. Sometimes veering off into left field is exactly what is needed to hold onto the slippery fish of memory.

Words can never fully capture the visceral nature of our lives. Yet we can trick the reader. We can let the reader create their own emotional experience. Almost like a program uploaded to the brain. I’ve seen it done in the books I’ve read, but it takes time and involvement. I have to be fully connected to the story for this rush of experience to wash over me. 

That is the ever present goal for those creating art, whether it be words, images or notes. We seek to move the recipient and let them experience the same emotion.

It ain’t easy. But it’s worth it. 

Tim Kane

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