The Clearest Language Possible

“Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!” ~ Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Frankenstein
Image by twm1340 via Flickr

“We live in a Newtonian world of Einsteinian physics ruled by Frankenstein logic.” ~ David Russell

What is the right thing to do?

Continue to write light commentary on librarians, parodies of legal codes, angst-ridden essays on being a writer who too often chooses not to write?

War in Afghanistan, revolution suppressed in Libya, fighting in Yemen. Today there was a report of hundreds wounded in Sana’a. I have an Internet friend in Sana’a.

I cried through the national news yesterday: Japan devastated by earthquake and tsunami, death and destruction, now a nuclear power plant ready to blow. When they showed the dog that brought rescuers back to its wounded friend, I had to escape to the kitchen to cook dinner.

As a child, I worried about Sputnik and Kruschev banging his shoe on the table, and Cuban missiles hitting San Antonio, sixty miles from my home. We always seemed to be on the brink, but the things that went over the edge did so out of my line of sight. The world has since gotten smaller and considerably more volatile.

My view is that God and Nature are telling us in the clearest language possible to stop wasting our resources on war and to start taking care of each other.

Frankenstein, after all, isn’t the monster. He’s the man who created something he didn’t understand, treated it shamelessly, and then ran away to escape the consequences.

But back to the question: What is the right thing to do?

Writing light seems heartless. But steeping a blog in depression doesn’t help one victim. Sharing sorrow is part of healing. Depression is a contagious disease.

So. What is the right thing to do? Send what practical aid I can. Pray. Be mindful. Light all the figurative candles imaginable.

Light, too, can be contagious.

*****

Image of Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein Monster, Marilyn Harris as Little Maria, 1931 by twm1340 via Flickr. CC BY SA-2.0.

Day 20: No-no words

A writer-friend introduced me to a new concept: the no-no word.

That’s a word you’re not allowed to use when you write.

She assigned her elementary students a composition, then told them they were not allowed to use the word was.

There’s a lot of talk going around about was these days. Several bloggers have written about the advisability of using it, and one of my online discussion groups examined the issue.

Should writers use was?

The answer to that question, I believe, is, It depends.

If I can find a more active or specific or colorful word, or a better construction, I use it. If I can’t, I write was.

When my teacher-writer-friend termed was a no-no word, however, and described the restrictions she had put on her students, I decided to step up to the challenge.

I stepped up.

I wrote.

I stepped down.

It was an enlightening ordeal.

Will I post the result?

NO.

 

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The image of No made out of jigsaw puzzle pieces used courtesy of Horia Varlan via Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic license.