Has anyone noticed that language has become so incredibly underrated? It makes me sad to say the least. We have access to such beautiful words and phrases, yet we take them for granted, ignore them, and overuse phrases such as “YOLO”. Stop. Of course, I can’t blame Drake for my generation’s complete and utter disregard for language as it began to fall away long before he decided to remind us that we do, in fact, only live once.
I miss long-winded ways to say simple things. For example, when Shakespeare described Romeo and Juliet as “star-crossed lovers” he meant they were unlucky, but “unlucky” is so plain. “Star-crossed”…I want to breathe that in, it’s sigh-enducing, his words are tear-worthy. But in today’s society we’re all about the now, the fast paced, the send-a-message-and-go mentality. In a world where “LOL” and “BRB” are taking over, how can I, or anyone for that matter, ensure that the underlying nature of our words are still beautiful?
Now, I’m not saying I don’t “lol” as often as the next guy, because I certainly do…but for each acronym placed ironically or otherwise I try my best to counteract with carefully crafted phrases because language means so much to me. It annoys some people which I think is a sign of the times, but finding people who appreciate someone who takes the time out to think before they speak (text, email, you get the idea) is a special thing.
I’ve been a slave to the written and spoken word my entire life. I’ve absorbed words and phrases like a sponge for a long as I can remember. I love to talk, even more-so, I love to listen. I love to pick up new phrases, meaningful phrases. For me, the way you speak is just as important as the way you move. A conversation is a dance, I move, you move, we repeat…sometimes we speak at the same time, sometimes one can’t speak until the other does, one may lead while the other picks up the cues, and vice versa. I have this picture in my mind that I carry around with me almost every time I write and I’d like for you to see it too.
Breathe in deeply, feel the air filling your lungs. As you exhale I want you to picture a light fog, and a naturally illuminated room with floor to ceiling windows as far as your eye can see. The floors and walls alike are deep mahogany wood, and in the center of that wooden room: a ballet dancer holding an arabesque, seemingly frozen in time. Her hair is pulled up off of her face, her limbs are stretched and stiff, yet she looks so delicate, soft, breakable. She wears the palest pink leotard and of course the telltale sign of a ballerina, a tutu. She is unaware of your presence, you are but a fly on the wall, and as she begins to move, your heart begins to break, unassured that you will ever see someone move with such grace, poise and beauty ever again. She glides through the air as though she were meant to own her very own set of wings, and her movements leave you speechless. She is lost in thought, this routine is nothing new to her, she moves with ease. As she completes her routine, you see a faint smile cross her lips. Though no one is watching she is proud of the show she has just put on, because she felt it in her very soul. As you inhale, the light fog lifts, the dancer is gone and the shades draw themselves submersing the room in complete darkness. And just as easily as the scene was painted by a breath, it is closed, only to be revisited if you so wish.
I hope you carry the vision of our graceful dancer friend with you, as I do. Use her as a reminder to paint a unique masterpiece with your words every time you speak. Use her as a reminder that every phrase is a new movement, a brush stroke, a photo taken. At the root of each art form is patience, you wouldn’t rush a painting, why rush your language?
As always, my name is Rebecca and I want to paint as many pictures with my words as humanly possible.