“Do you care?” – Missing Persons
My wife tells a great story about the time her wonderful mother Doris was recovering in the hospital after having a softball sized brain tumor removed. The specialists in the recovery area were working with Doris to make sure her speech was not affected shortly after her surgery. Rebekah was in the room with her mother, and to make sure Doris understood, Rebekah told her that she needed to speak to show the doctors that she understood what they were saying and that she could comprehend what was happening.
So Rebekah told her mom (and I’m paraphrasing) that you can’t just nod or shake your head to answer questions you have to speak words. Doris took this request literally and started saying “words” over and over in a dry, raspy-throated effort to follow a simple command. Doris was saying words.
“I might as well go up and talk to a wall, ’cause all the words are having no effect at all”
What parent hasn’t felt that way or uttered something to that effect? What employee has ever wondered if his or her supervisor even sees them much less hears them? We speak words to be heard by someone. To make a point, to give instructions, to entertain, to inform, to convey a feeling or emotion. It’s how we were created. We write words to do the same thing. To express thoughts and ideas, to etch memories.
English poet John Drinkwater once said “The written word is everything.” That simple five-word statement holds a great deal of truth. It’s the discernment of “truth” that is really the challenge. The words are there. It just comes down to if you understand or believe the words you read.
When I was a sophomore in college I wrote for the college newspaper, and I only semi-enjoyed it. The thing I remember most about that particular semester is that I had all of my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I had a four-day weekend every week and it was awesome. Sure Tuesday and Thursday sucked because I was in some class all day followed by basketball practice, but did you just read what I wrote? I had a four day weekend, every week!
In my student newspaper class there were many times that I had to write about world affairs or upcoming events on campus, and I would be unmotivated to do so, and I’m sure those articles reflected that. But, those times I could convince my editor / teacher to let me write an opinion piece about the rapidly rising salaries of professional athletes, or a profile piece on students with interesting stories were the times I really enjoyed what I was doing.
One thing I learned early in life is that everyone has a story and if you take some time to listen it’s often fascinating, inspiring, sad, funny, resilient, but most of all – unique.
“What are words for when no one listens anymore? What are words for when no one listens? What are words for when no one listens, it’s no use talkin’ at all.”
I once listened to a podcast about a guy who decided to give up talking for one day only to keep going and eventually went over a decade without uttering a single word to anyone. I thought that was fascinating. As I listened to him tell his story I had the usual thoughts of why and the incredibly tough logistics involved in undertaking something like this, but I eventually came to the conclusion that it sounded like a lonely and sad adventure, and even a bit depressing.
When it comes right down to it that’s all this little website is – words. Sure there are some old music videos and vintage pictures scattered across different decades, particularly the 80’s and even 70’s. But the true essence of this site is based upon words – written words.
“Time could be my friend. But it’s less than nowhere now.”
I couldn’t imagine back in 1991 during that sophomore year in college that there would come a day where you could write whatever you wanted whenever you wanted, and post it to a place where anyone in the world could view and read it. That you could edit it yourself. Your grammar or spelling didn’t have to be perfect. Your facts didn’t have to matter. You could make up statistics – 73% of statistics are inaccurate according to 58% of statistical survey companies anyway. See how easy that was? What an amazing time we live in, but what a dangerous weapon words can be. At the same time, what a wonderful privilege they are.
As time passes I think we all realize how much more important words become because we have less of them to use with each and every passing day. So we must use our words written or spoken, and we must use them wisely and for the betterment of ourselves and our families and our friends.
“It’s like the feeling at the end of the page. When you realize you don’t know what you just read.”
Well, some 1000+ words later I’ve arrived here at the end with the feeling that I just kind of rambled in this post today. But I’ve learned that it’s ok to ramble when you write sometimes. A post doesn’t always have to be tight and on point with every word. I would give that advice to anyone who enjoys the written word (reading, writing, or otherwise). Just write and see where it leads you.
Writing is like life. There are times when you feel like you’re just wandering. The keyboard is like a bunch of different roads you can choose from. Those roads create words that lead to a destination. Then one day you stop, look around, and see where it all has taken you. It’s a fascinating journey.
“Pursue it further and another thing you’ll find. Not only are they deaf and dumb they could be going blind and no one notices. I think I’ll dye my hair blue.”
Cool lyrics from a cool L.A. new wave/rock band formed in 1980 that enjoyed mild success in the 80’s. Led by front-woman Dale Bozzio (no blue hair, but pink instead for this video), this particular song was one of four singles released from their “Spring Session M” album and peaked at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The band received quite a bit of airplay in the early days of MTV because of their unique sound and look (male rouge anyone?). The fact that the group had a talented attractive female lead singer probably didn’t hurt either when trying to appeal to the young male viewership of the time.
Here is the group Missing Persons with their video to the song “Words”…
Thanks for reading these words and watching “Words” today!