Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Words, I love them

Hmm. It's been a long time since I sat down here to write. My brother Jon, God love him, has been suggesting I get back to it - writing that is. I'm not sure I have anything I want to say but I love him SO MUCH that I'll cave, and give it a whirl. Now, it's not that there isn't plenty on my mind, plenty that I'm in an uproar about, no, it's just that I feel sort of at a loss for words. So I think I'm going to borrow someone else's words until I get myself back into writing my heart for the world (or my current 3 followers) to see.

You may not know it, but in my heart of hearts I am a poet. I am a lover of language, a word nerd, a verbal visionary. Ok. Maybe that last one went a little far, but I love words. I love how they string together to form thoughts that explode into pictures in our brains. I love how changing the phrasing and emotion of a simple sentence can change it's meaning a hundred different ways. I love how that same simple sentence can evoke laughter, or tears or rage or hope. I love how words sometimes escape us and that weird little noise you just made, because man, 'you got nothin', says what a thousand words could not. Are you getting the picture? I LOVE WORDS.

I'm not the best writer. I'm not a great poet. I'm envious of those that can weave these intricate pictures of pure undefiled emotion and grab you so tight with a phrase that for a second you can't breathe. Those people are my heroes. Those people rock. So I'm going to introduce you to my newest love, my new best friend, his name is Shane Koyczan, and he is flat out beautiful.

The first time I heard this piece I was captivated immediately by his voice and the rhythm and flow of his words, but when he got to the part about his friend in third grade, I couldn't breathe. By the time he finished her story I was crying, and when he reached the end of this piece I was utterly broken and conversely filled with hope and love and validation. I think if you know me, that is, if you've seen me face to face, you'll understand my brokenness at these words and my validation at the end. You may not get it, and that's ok too.

I have watched this video dozens of times. I still cry every time.

This is the video for his project "To This Day" which is an anti-bullying project. I encourage you to watch it, get a feel for it, watch it again, think about the person in your life who most needs to hear this today, and pass it along to them. This poem blows my mind. Here's the thing though, and maybe it's a bit much for those of us who aren't total word nerds and or poets, but I want you to watch this one next. It's a live performance of two of his poems ("When I Was A Child" and "To This Day") blended together for a live performance. I love watching him perform. He's funny, he's sincere, he's heartbreaking and hopeful all rolled up in one. For my friends who may be sensitive to foul language, there is one instance of it here. I'm not sure which of the 3 of you that is, but, you've been warned.

I'm not going to tell my bullying story today. It's overdone. I tell it mostly to encourage young girls that are being bullied. I hope it offers them hope and strength. I hope it tells them "They were wrong! They have to be wrong. Why else would we still be here?..."

There is limitless power in words. Power to wound. Power to kill. Power to heal and to restore. How will you use your words today?


  1. Traci, I absolutely LOVE this post! I agree with Jon--you should be doing this much more often--you are a good writer! I am a lover of words like you---I'm completely content to sift through my dusty, old dictionary to look up new words. And thank you for introducing me to Shane Koyczan! I love his voice and his poetry is lovely--it hit a little too close to home for me---disturbing yet beautiful at the same time. I'm going to have to listen to it again--love the rhythm of his voice as he reads. I wanted to join your site as a follower but I don't see any place to do so. Am I missing it somehow? You'll have to let m know. And please, PLEASE get back to your blogging on a regular basis---your voice needs to be heard!

  2. Hi Menopausal Mama! It's like having a celebrity visit to see your name here!

    Thanks for your support. I'm glad Jon nags me a little... I forget how much I like this!

    My brain swims with words and unwritten poetry and rants against injustice almost constantly... it can get a little crazy in my head some days! I really do need to discipline myself to write more (and clean house more, and cook more, and... well you get the point.) because I really do love it so.

    I think at the bottom of the home page in little tiny letters there is something you can click on to follow this. I really need to get Jon over here to help me set this up better.

    Anyway, thanks for reading this and taking the time to leave me a little encouragement. I need it. LOL

    Blessings to you!

  3. Traci this is fantastic, I had never seen that video before. It's kindof eerie how much of it I could relate to myself, and you too. Very poignant words. I am glad I pestered you now otherwise I may have missed this wonderful message. It really is something to think about. Thanks.

  4. Thanks Jon. He's got a lot of really good stuff on youtube.

    Funny you used my "tag line/title"! I'm considering changing the name. I want to go for something a little less impersonal. Still mulling it over.

    Thanks for encouraging me. I forgot how much I enjoy this. Whenever I write anything my head kicks over into writer mode and I think of a million things I want to say. The joys of ADD.

  5. Oh My Giddy Aunt, you are truly a Whiting for sure. I am a fan of your brother Jon, and it seems that the Whiting family are truly talented. I'm not sure what has taken you so long to write, but GIRL, just say it. Sometimes we spend our lives waiting for the right words or things to inspire us, when in fact, if we just said it as it was, we actually use our gifts to inspire others - even if we never get to know about it personally.

    As for the video, this Shane is brilliant, I couldn't get enough of it and it has given me much food for thought.

    Now where is that followers button Traci? Do you have a Google Friend Connect button as that's how I usually follow to get updates instantly. I must admit that the Whiting family is a beautiful secret unfolding organically. My oh my, it runs in the family.

    1. Well! How do you do, sir? I'm a big fan of anyone who encourages my brother so as it turns out, I already know who you are!

      Thanks for your encouragement. It's certainly nice to get a little "Attagirl!" every now and then. There is a follow by email button and some kind of feed-thingy that I don't understand at all. I'll have to add the google thingy. Jon showed me that one too. Still figuring out this blog-thingy...

      Thanks again for stopping by.

  6. YAY! You have your Feedburner subscription up! I just signed on! Hey, don't bother with Google Friend Connect--it will be discontinued as of July 1st. Switch over to Blog Lovin'. Jon has the link--we are ALL going to have to switch over....