Wonderful piece from Calvin Trillin in the G&M today. It's about swearing and The New Yorker and while I swear much too much, it's from a man I adore, and therefore I will read and consider and carry it around with me like a little amulet. Trillin writes nothing trivial, ever. I still have snippets of a short he once wrote flipping around my brain. It was about finding a street parking spot in New York City. And the value of that spot, and the search for that spot, and the protection of that spot. It wasn't about a parking spot at all, but Trillin is that brilliant.
I'm in a pondery kind of mood of late. Which means the cats stay close and the kids stay away, as I noodle over things that I shouldn't, and sit at my computer until my shoulders seize up like rusted carnival equipment and I don't notice until I try to unkink and can't. I think about things like Trillin's piece, about words. I've been using a lot of them lately, churning out words, some good, some less so, and some pieces of beauty that will never be seen. I can't leave 'bad' standing, in case you think I'm saying I'm not capable of 'bad'. I am; I just fix it or kill it, because nothing in that much pain should have to suffer.
Twenty years ago I would have argued until blue the sanctity of words. And I of course was thinking of those words in terms of newspapers or books or magazines. Speeches or scripts or placards. And in my pondery mood, I find my brain cracking open to allow new growth as I consider Antonia Zerbisias's piece in the Star today about cyber rebels. Words as warfare; a morphing, evolving force of Anonymous who hack and slash and instigate and post on the web. 'Interactivists', they're called, who keep people connected when governments or armies have stripped away that ability. They - this faceless, nameless entity - ensure no censor will rewrite history.
So these two ideas have melded this morning, this idea that I should be able to say anything I like, while realizing the care I must give to anything I do. It will always be about the words, and whether we unleash them like mad dogs or unfurl them like brilliant banners.
Some days it's a bit of both.