I’ve been thinking a lot about words this week. I’ve used them in condolence and in sympathy, in kindness and in anger, but none of them have really felt right. Words have been such an important part of this election. We’ve analyzed stump speeches, discussed email content, fought over rhetoric. It’s been an influx of words and too often they have felt empty or full or hatred and anger and lies.
How many different people have spent how many countless hours thinking about words? Hamlet, the boys from Gutenberg! The Musical! Everyone’s got words on the brain. And in times like this, when I don’t know what to feel, I look for the words.
I’ve exchanged link after link of new perspective, interesting viewpoint, inspiring words. Some of it has felt useless, some very moving, some inspiring. Ive had conversation after conversation in class, on the street, on the phone, over text, and it’s all just words circulating circling curling in on themselves and I don’t learn much.
It’s when words are connected to feeling that they move me. When they are spoken or typed or written down with passion, that is when they move me. When, like in Company One’s Revolt, She Said, Revolt Again, they are accompanied with blood and trampled bluebells. The play is galvanizing from the tip of the title down to the curtain call. Revolt, she said. Who is she? She is every woman you’ve met in a coffee shop or at a bar, in class or in your family. She is me and my roommates and my mother and my classmates and my friends from high school and my teachers and my administrators and every woman who is angry. Revolt, she said. And then, revolt again. She calls you to arms, tells you not to be happy with what you’ve got and to demand that you are deserving of more. Do it with your heart and your bones and your liver and your brain and do it. And then, when it is not enough, do it again. And sitting in this audience is when words made sense for the first time since “president-elect” and I knew what to do next. Go out and do. When you think it will be enough and it is inevitably not, keep going. Find the support of the other shes and the ones who sympathize with the shes and keep going. The days will not be easy and then nights might be harder still but they will keep coming and you will keep going and then, maybe, somewhere in the future we will make it THERE. To where we don’t have to keep revolting.
Until then, I keep looking for the words. I look for ones that bring me calm and ones that make me feel anything but. I save them for later, when I need a change. I offer this: find the words that make you feel something close to hope. Hold on to them for dear life. Share them with everyone you know. Keep looking and collecting and sharing and overlapping until you are a novel full of all the different words you know. Today, I found these words and they have helped. And if you see me around and you’ve got some to offer, feel free. After all, I’m still learning.