I was looking for something on one of the bookcases earlier. Big mistake, of course. There are books there. And you are bound to see something you haven’t read in a while.. or that is relevant.. or reminds you of something.
In this case it was a quote I remembered, being perfectly appropriate on several occasions. Holding the book in my hand it also occurred to me how often the writer’s name had cropped up recently too. And vague memories of why I liked his work in the first place. So of course, the next hour had to be written off.
Now, I’m not going to discourse on either the book or the writer ( Teilhard de Chardin…look him up if you are so inclined.. he was an interesting man.) What caught me initially, and probably holds me today is his use of words. I read him first in French, an evocative and emotive language for me, which may have helped, but English turned out to be just as captivating, if slightly less poetic.
I was thinking about that. Words are powerful things and used with attention can leave a lasting mark on hearer or reader for good or ill. But sometimes, too, they paint a picture that opens the doors of the imagination that leads to understanding. They do not have to describe a thing exactly. Sometimes they barely have to make sense if examined logically. You don’t have to agree with them and they don’t have to be accurate or factual. But the emotion and image they elicit are light-bulb moments.
Words can be the simple starting point of a whole chain of inspiration and possibility, or they can fall on deaf ears. The response will be different for each of us, and what sparks that inner exploration in one may not speak to another. Once sparked, however, it is as if a touch paper is lit that sets off a whole chain of internal fireworks.
We’ve all had those moments of sudden realisation, that sometimes bears no real resemblance to what we have heard, but something in the words gives that magical missing piece of the jigsaw, or that critical finishing touch of seasoning to the mental dish and the lights go on inside.
While a phrase may light up ideas for many, the stream of thought will part and take different directions for each of us, and that fertile diversity is itself rich and beautiful.
Glancing through the pages of the book today, I saw many such snippets, Some began their work in my mind some time ago, others I have read before but not seen till today. Where they will lead only time will tell. I have been musing a lot today on one little phrase I read that set the chain reaction creeping today for me. I’ll leave it with you.
“Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.”