Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words Will Never Hurt Me?
Remember that child hood sing-song saying”Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
What a load of crap.
This week as I was listening to Home Front by Kristin Hannah, a story of a military woman with a rocky marriage who is called away to fight in Afghanistan. Shortly before her deployment while in yet another heated argument with her husband over his time management skills and being there for their children he says these words,
“I can’t do this anymore. I just don’t love you.”
The woman is shocked. It is just an argument. The book describes that she collapses and reaches out for the counter as the words sink into her very soul. It is like the bottom just fell out of her life.
And they say words don’t hurt.
It was about that moment when that old saying about sticks and stones hit me. I flashed back to a grade school version of me in a playground with friends while a boy taunted us over one thing or another. I can recall my little voice singing out the sticks and stones thing and tossing my braids over my shoulder and off I went with my posse.
The truth is there is a lot of power to words. As writers, they are must have tools. As readers we want the words to make us feel… feel pain, hurt, betrayal, love, fear adoration, sorrow, triumph, anger….
the list really goes on and on.
In fact as I ramble on here and apparently am building up steam on this topic, words that make us feel are what we crave in a book. We WANT to feel, even… if it is painful.
And really – what a rush a good book is when it does make us feel. From the very comforts of our own home we get the privilege of experiencing all this emotion through the books we choose to read.. through the words the writer gives out minds to play around with.
Who among us has not experienced emotion through reading? Have you laughed or cried while in a book? Have you turned a page in anger over what you have just read, or turned it slowly and fearfully… afraid what you will read next?
Honestly – I love it when a book makes me feel big emotions one way or another. When I read a review, I want to know how the book made the reader feel.