I’ve never been a math aficionado. I have an app for tips to assure my on-the-spot, table-side, excel spreadsheet-free calculation is accurate. I can’t tell you what time a train leaving a station in Pennsylvania headed for Boston is going to cross paths with a train leaving Boston for Pennsylvania if the trains leave at the same time, are traveling at 70 mph, and there is a westerly wind of 37 mph. All of this to say, I’ve been toying with an equation…if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many emotions is a picture worth? Or a word, for that matter?
I’m re-reading a book that I don’t want to end, again. It is filled with words that enchant; phrases that conjure pictures and expressions that wake my imagination, senses, and emotion.
“Habit is a vain treacherous goddess. She lets nothing disrupt her rule. She smothers one desire after another: the desire to travel, the desire for a better job or a new love. She stops us from living as we should like, because habit prevents us from asking ourselves whether we continue to enjoy doing what we do.”
Where did that take you? Wow, right? Or maybe that’s just me. Here’s another one:
“Do you know that there’s a halfway world between each ending and each new beginning…? It’s called the hurting time…. It’s a bog; it’s where your dreams and worries and forgotten plans gather. Your steps are heavier during that time. Don’t underestimate the transition between farewell and new departure. Give yourself the time you need. Some thresholds are too wide to be taken in one stride.”
These phrases don’t speak to our thinking brain, they speak to our affect. They trick the protective gatekeepers, slip past the logicians, and embed an idea to be considered and savored at a deeper level.
“He wished he could prop his fearful self up in a corner like a broom and walk away.”
What an idea! Would you? Could you? Will you?
“I have always taken what life has offered me…but I’ve never offered myself anything. I was never any good at looking after myself.”
What do you just know at a gut level about your own self-care after reading this?
“He showered insults on himself, crudely and desperately, with the wrath of a man who realizes, with terrifying clarity, that he has irrevocably wasted a part of this life, and the time remaining is all too short.”
What might have skittered a bit in your peripheral awareness of something waiting, waiting, waiting and for which there might not be the time?
How does this equation work for you? When you are enchanted by words or a visual, where does it take you and what is the value in that for you? In what ways might your words enchant others? Do they open the gate at the edge of the yard and encourage them to run free and explore? Might they have people second guessing who they are and how others see or judge that?
Even without exemplary math skills, this is an equation worthy of our attention.
If you want to read more, the book isThe Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.