At It’s a Grind in Ballantyne Village, a woman stood with her ten year old son in front of a case of sumptuous pastries – lemon meringue frosted pies, decadent chocolate truffle cakes, black forest cakes oozing with cream and cherries, pain au chocolate, thick muffins with blueberries bursting out of the top and sides. "Would you like a food item?" the mother said. The son hovered blandly in front of the case. My mouth dropped. "Did she just say ‘food item?’" I thought and stared bewildered at the luscious, desirable deserts worthy of being named in a more affectionate way.
What an insult to those sweet, gooey, gorgeous goodies waiting behind the glass! The dullness of her word choice stunned me. She sounded like a word zombie, someone who has not taken the time and had the presence of mind to fully appreciate the vibrant, lovely qualities of the life in front of her and describe it with appropriate zeal. She had lost her poetry. The words "food items" simply did not evoke the buttery, creamy, sugar filled, calorie laden pastries. It seemed this woman had listened to one too many commercials and viewed life through a veil of dull expressions.
The words we use paint a frame of mind. Do you feel the pull of those chocolaty tarts and strawberry delights? Do you express it in speech and in writing? Or do you resort to common, meaningless language out of unconscious, comfortable habit?
Try breaking out of the word zombie mold. Embrace your words and choose them carefully. Find your inner poetry. Dare to ask your friends, “Do you yearn for a bubbly brown soda with a drug history?” instead of “Would you like a Coke?” Or, “How about a glass of processed rain?” instead of just “Another glass of water?” Let your verbs really express your looming sense of giddiness about summer vacation or an anticipated kiss. Pick your adjectives to deeply describe your feelings about that chilly pool of glacial water tinted turquoise from rock-flour at your feet. Look into the eyes of your words. Become aware of your word choices when you speak and write. These words shape our attitudes and sharpen or dull our minds. Changing words will change us, make us feel more vibrant and alive. Different words will bring you into the present moment and also open others to it. Let your words express your love and enthusiasm for people, places and things. Using better, more lively words will make you better and more lively. Break out of the word zombie mold. Express vibrant life in your words.