This year I gave up stethoscope and syringes for a new set of tools…words. The transition was fairly easy for two reasons. First, I was already familiar with words and had a little experience. The other reason is that with either set of tools in hand (mind), I’m pretty much BS’ing my way through.
With either profession, the risks of screwing up the lives of others and myself run high. When people ask a nurse to step outside the bounds of what they are allowed to do, they seldom realize it is not only their health and safety that is at risk but the nurse’s livelihood as well. The upside with writing is that I don’t have a license to worry about and I’m writing fiction. The way some people think these days, I’m not sure the word “fiction” is as understood as it should be, so maybe I should worry more.
That said, words can be as healing as any medicine, as sharp as any scalpel, and as deadly as any disease. In many cases, words hold the power of life and death. With words we bless and curse, sow peace and war, establish friendships and alienate our fellow human beings. Therefore it is import to use words properly, and I’m not talking grammar here, although…God knows it’s needed more than ever.
Solomon once wrote that “to every thing there is a season and a time for every purpose under the heaven.” Though not expressed in his list, there is a time for words and a time words just won’t do. Each word we speak (or write) should be weighed accord to time and season. The reason for this is because a word once spoken cannot be retrieved. Words lodge in hearts, souls, and spirits forever and there is no real antidote.
Some bold soul will tell me the truth is always in season. Here I’m reminded of a lesson from my nursing career “never” and “always” are rarely the right answer when dealing with people. I will tell you there are times when the truth is inappropriate. In saying so, I am not promoting lying despite the fact that I spend so much time in fiction. There is a reliable and viable option to the truth…silence.
Of course, silence doesn’t last forever. The wonderful thing about truth is that it has a way of making itself known. getting out. The best we can hope for with painful truth is that it arrives at the proper time and season to be therapeutic. Many an impatient hearer has pried open silence to their own hurt. As a writer, I advise people to let the story unfold, the author knows the right time to spring things on you.
As a nurse, I too often found myself saying, “Why does this s%#t have to happen now!” I’m willing to bet every time, I did God was laughing out loud. I think I missed the bus to the point to which I wanted to go with this and fell to wandering and thinking, “Now, what did I come in here for?”
But my words are like bologna, you can slice it off anywhere.
Oh, by the way, I added a couple of poems to my website today…look under free stories.