Grateful Sunday (Tuesday) #4: Words

Writing daily has really reengaged my passion for words, prose, and phrasing that I was once fond of.  I hope to maintain this pattern for an extended period of time, to maximize the benefits that my vocabulary and formatting will see.  I have to count myself lucky, though, that my cognitive faculties were not irreparably damaged, and that they are returning to full strength through consistent use and exploration in active recovery.

I’ve encountered recovering addicts and alcoholics who have not been so fortunate; as slaves to their respective substances for thirty, forty years of their lives, their brains have been addled to the point of no return.  It can be difficult and emotional to observe these individuals try to navigate their own minds, struggling to string simple words and ideas together.  Every time I recognize the occurrence I am reminded to recite my blessings that I still have my words about me.

Consequently, I’ve started listening to some of the old hip-hop I used to favor back in the day.  Not “rap” or any of the overhyped, overproduced radio-hits the MTV generation idolizes, but the genuinely soulful/lyrical/truthful artists.  A Tribe Called Quest, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Gang Starr, Immortal Technique, Atmosphere, Jurassic 5, and so on.

The artist has publicly stated that this was written in reference to various women, as well as his battles with addiction.  No wonder it resonated so deeply with me.

I am trying to develop simultaneous growth in my ability to live in the moment and my ability to communicate mindfully and purposefully.  In my mind, they go hand-in-hand. Disclosing true emotions through the use of revealing words has always been an issue for me, despite my broad vocabulary and intuitive style.  This internalization of feels became an explosive element in my drinking career; it would tend to spike and lash out under the uninhibited and uncontrollable altered state of heavy drinking.

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Words have become an even more disorienting terrain to maneuver, with the increased popularity of digital communication in contemporary society.  Each year new messaging technologies become accessible to the general public to consume (re: tablets in 2012), and those platforms come in a further diversified array of models (iPad, Android, etc), and are shared via any number of trendy apps and platforms (Kik…and whatever else is hip, I don’t care to keep up).

[Ed. note: I recently read an insightful article on the new ‘Vine’ app (which allows one to record and publish 6 seconds of video without any interim hosting) and how these kinds of services will indubitably be used for porn. Take a peep here: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/31/vine_the_future_of_sex/)

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So how do we properly analyze and decode these messages we receive?  Often they have little to no context, no inflection or tone to discern meaning from.  Roughly 90% of communication is non-verbal, a statistic which I suppose will probably decrease in time if current trends keep up.

This is why I generally refuse to use shorthand and abbreviations even when I need to send a long/detailed text message or Tweet or what have you – doing so tends to butcher what I really wish to express, via my exact thoughts and phrasings.

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Word.

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