I've become a magpie of sorts since the day after Election Day, collecting words at an alarming rate. I'm a big news reader/listener already, but I've even alarmed myself at the amount of news I've read/listened to in the past couple of weeks; something about knowing is better than not knowing, awareness is better than complacency. With decreasing amounts of melodrama, I can still say I am not in any way shape or form convinced that everything will be OK in the world, no matter what people try to say to suggest otherwise. To put it lightly: I have concerns.
I've been making an effort to collect other words, too, though, to adjust the ratio of my outlook for the better. I've gathered words from Toni Morrison and Andrea Jenkins, Colton Whitehead and my friend Missy. I've gathered words from writers I didn't know before, pointed out by people I do. I've bought words at the bookstore and chosen more at the library. My subconscious has been more adamant about the importance of physical books than ever. I don't want these words to return to the ether of forgotten pixels when I'm done; I want them to become shared words, ideas, actions. I've added The Once and Future King to my list of books to read on the recommendation of an old friend who shared an excerpt that stopped me in my tracks:
"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn." —T.H. White, The Once and Future King
See also: making, creating. I said some nonsense in the last year about only being able to affect one's own small corner of the world, and I see that for the nonsense it is now. There is no small corner, because there is no corner. A corner implies something flat. Which of course the world is not, only a myth that was somehow spread about people's beliefs in the first place.
One of of my favorite radio shows, Morning Music from Wyoming Public Radio, pointed out some more words this morning in the form of a Decemberists song I hadn't heard before:
So raise a glass to turnings of the season
And watch it as it arcs towards the sun
And you must bear your neighbor's burden within reason
And your labors will be borne when all is done
—from Don't Carry It All
I'm adding them to my collection.