Adelaide. Australia.University of South Australia. I was talking at Magill Campus yesterday of how words can be weapons. If you are given bad words in childhood, “shot down” say, they may affect the rest of your life. They may become your motivation to succeed or the source of your demise, the motivation for living or the motivation to end living. The sentence as explosive. The ink as nitroglycerine kept cautiously, carried carefully, throughout each chapter of life.
What’s therapy but the construction (or examination) of language or “script”? I remember overhearing adults use the term “hurt” when I was a child “oh I was so hurt when she said…” and I struggled with the concept that a person could be hurt without being physically touched. In fact to be “touched” without being touched is to be “moved” without being moved. But if you can hurt a person with words you can kill them with words too? And if you can kill a person with words you can also give life with words too.
Words are more than ink and paper, more than screen and text. They never pretended to be otherwise. It is us that pretend otherwise. Language is the venous system through the body of our lives. In the middle of the Masterclass an inspired lecturer told me of a bridge and the words written upon its side. It's thirty seconds from the front door of my hotel. At 8am this morning I walk out across the main street to see it. The words stand proud against the grave stone of concrete as the traffic passes on. “sticks and stones will break my bones” it reads “but words will always save me.” If you have a story you've always wanted to write. Write it – words will always save you!