It's funny to think that each of us is mining the exact land as our neighbor. Our shared land -the eternal ether- is never harmed through this mining. In fact, people from every land benefit from this excavation and the quarry itself remains somehow untouched. Each word carved from this community mine shines as brightly as any gem, and remains precious as any metal. Yes, I am somewhat limited by immediate vocabulary, but every word I could ever choose to use, well, so could you. Similar to selecting personal ingredients for your own dinner from the collective's shelves, only without the allergies that necessitate exclusion.
Regardless of why I may be writing, it always is a pure joy to find the 'right word.' Sometimes it is very close and not much searching is necessary. Another small, but significant, joy. Occasionally my word choice conveys the overall thought in an acceptable manner, but the flow or tense is dicey, or the overall meaning still remains open to interpretation. When the 'right' words do come about after some time away, a cig or two, a reread and an edit, I genuinely get excited. Is that crazy?
Does it somehow make me narcissistic, this belief that I got something 'right?' That my decision allowed the existence of something now perceived as 'correct' and 'final', 'without flaw' and 'print worthy'- therefore 'perfect'? Am I now a god? The creation of a perfect thing is not a small task - surely that fact must speak to some truth or another? The finality of an undertaking equals the acquiescence of imperfection. A finish. Finite. To your editor: "I am done with this article, please publish it." At some point it actually is good enough, but that realization still spurns occasional trouble from the ego.
Although we all share these words, some people recognizably posses a different understanding of their placement and usage. This 'thing' is partially why (some) big name authors continuously put out quality work. This 'thing' is partially why a perceived "no one" scores big with a first book. This 'thing' is partially why classics are identified and revered as such. This 'thing' is partially why I decided to explore the art of writing. Yes, content and story matter, no question. Seems now though, that in the morning -after all the nasty is done- word choice, syntax, and flow seem to stay for scrambled eggs. Yet, I am but a baby in this world of words, so please take these current choices with a grain of salt.
Words are powerful. They paint very vivid pictures, speak loudly, convey messages of truth, and attempt to clearly represent their author's state of mind when written - but only as directed. As the author, I am now solely responsible for any misrepresentations or cloudy messages my words present to the reader. Fair enough, but dig this: without access to a truly limitless vocabulary, the exactness of a particular word's definition becomes slightly less exact. Perhaps, the only word that has not been invented is the exact one needed to remove all semblance of doubt from the definition of the other's. You may also understand that the communication of my absolute meaning, through my words, is then rendered impossible before I even open my computer. Because forced approximation of any word's literal definition exists solely due to the finite number of words available to the definer, everything that follows is a lie. A white lie I can not control, but living inside this paradox is occasionally frustrating and confusing. Since the idea of removing words' collective existence in exchange for a universal -but nonverbal- dialog is melancholy at best, I now trust the approximations.
Words do make me smile. Single words. Strings of them. Two or even four or more together, separated by a comma or period or a paragraph even. Each of this thread's sidetracks, tangents or salient points is a direct result of the joy I find in arranging and ordering our beloved shared commodities.