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I devour words.

I like playing with words

I need words in context and out of it,

I love words – what they represent and how they are represented.

I enjoy seeing words in visual art, stories and in poems

I have a tendency to fall in love with other peoples words.

Unfortunately I don’t always get to hear them say it, but sometimes they appear in written form when I most need to ‘hear’ it.

On Saturday I fell in love with Marlene Dumas’s words in her recent speech.  I always liked her art….and I admire how she uses paint, ink and her I love ability with words.

She made a plight for art in her speech when she won the Johannes Vermeer award…..

Definitely worth reading- here. (it is in Afrikaans, so you might want to translate)

This speech left me speechless

There are a handful of speeches by others I enjoy….

Shortly after his death, i found an article about a speech made by Steve Jobs, and thought I will look it up again…..to my delight it was also about connecting the dots…..(delightful since I have been obsessing about dots lately.)

The article started like this….

“I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.”

I love this:

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

You can read the full story here

pages from the book: Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer

this is from a page in the book  I’m currently reading….

In context it represents the amount of animals eaten in a lifetime by an average American

Out of context it’s just beautiful to look at….

Years ago I received another book ( a catalogue from an exhibition entitled:  Through the looking glass) from a previous employer and now friend.  Inside she  wrote this:

“…Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I was under the impression that this was from Nelson Mandela’s speech…..and much to my surprise I found this site

that claims he never wrote it or used it in his speech…..

I don’t know how true it is, but nevermind- it is still powerful words!

By whom and where and when- does it make a difference to words?

4 thoughts on “Speechless

  1. That Steve Jobs speech is a good one. The connecting dots story is the one that stuck with me most as well. I also really like that quote. I actually just used it in my post before last. The one on existentialism. I think we most certainly are powerful beyond all measure.

    Not to keep throwing videos at you, but have you seen waking life? It’s a peculiar animated film, very much worth a watch, where the main character floats from one philosophical conversation to the next, often about very disconnected ideas. One of them is about words. Here’s the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvnQu30kQ2c. And here’s the transcript: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Waking_Life#Kim_Krizan.

    For another thing on words, the book, The 4 Agreements, has several pages devoted to how words are like magic, and how we use them to cast spells on one another. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but all too often without realizing their inherent power. The book isn’t really about words, it’s just more about how we live our lives, but the rest of it is good too.

    Sorry, I always recommend too much. I like connecting words, but I like connecting ideas even more. To me, it’s all connected if you look close enough.

    1. Thank you Andrew for the recommendations. Like you I am also constantly looking for ways to connect ideas- it makes the world a more interesting place- (like searching for treasures on some desolate place without a map).
      I have not seen Waking life- but look forward to it….
      (thanks for the link: will do it when I have 2gig to my disposal again….now I have to use what I have left very carefully I- I went crazy on youtube this month already – watched the John Baldesarri video and more thats why i am in this predicament)

      I did look at the transcript and I also feel that: “So much of what we perceive cannot be expressed. It’s unspeakable.” I observe my 2 year old son and his struggle to be understood- only now he is sort of able to express himself so that we can understand- body language has definitely helped so far.
      I also enjoyed the other quotes on that page: “Remembering is so much more of a psychotic activity than forgetting.”
      I am very curios about the book: The 4 Agreements- I hope the library can help otherwise I will have to google it!
      you are welcome to throw some videos this way anytime!

      1. I have always fancied the treasure hunter types, but I never figured myself for one until now. An archivist, collector, or eccentric maybe, but treasure hunter makes it feel more appropriately like a quest, or adventure, than just another excercise in the dewey decimal system. Thanks for that.

        Waking life is the type of film that amazes you how much you missed each time you rewatch it. It’s chock full of gems. And I’m sure I’ll be sending more videos your way, or at least posting them on my blog. It’s kinda my thing. Feel free to do the same.

      2. I noticed that films are our kind of thing- thats why i’m following your blog- to learn more….films never used to be my kind of thing. i noticed that i’m only familiar with 2 films you mentioned under your favourites..so i still have to do a lot of watching before i can talk film with you….will be watching your space…

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