To listen to this post, please click here: Words On a Page
Waiting for a train I heard one young woman tell another, “My brother says, ‘Why should I read? It’s just words on a page.’ ”
Struck me to the heart, these words in the air. And though I’m selling tuxedos to penguins, should someone ever ask you…
“Why board a train?” I want to say. “It’s just cars on a track. It only gets you places hard to get to on your own. And a whole lot faster.”
But shock occasions reflection and reflection, gratitude.
Words on a page. Important, like boxcars, for what they convey. Which is us.
Reading, we ride with the engineer. Worlds of our joint creation spring up around the locomotive.
Non-fiction writers can take us anywhere —this author explored the Arctic, for example, so I can share somewhat in that experience. What expert scouts good writers are!
Fiction writers take us inside of each other, inside of ourselves. They train our inner ear to our inner life—that slippery ongoing stream of psychological states which filter, flow and congeal into physical experience.
And poets? Well, they don’t use tracks at all. They just beam us from place to place.
Isn’t it wonderful, this magical travel through each other’s minds and experiences? Even if sometimes the page is glowing glass, not paper.
Where have you been traveling lately?
(No dictionaries were harmed in the creation of this post.)