I entered 2014 believing that stories were my catalyst for creating, capturing, and cultivating life’s changing moments. It’s stories – those make you burst with laughter on an airplane or cry in a coffee shop stories – that make others wish they could feel just what has ignited such an emotional firestorm. Writing stories, I believed, was my life raft when I needed rescued from drowning in grief.
As I reflect on 2014, I realize that this year I probed deeper, past the heart of stories and into the soul of words. Stories are great, but as John Keating said, “words (and ideas) can change the world.” What is a story anyway without the right words? It’s the right words, spoken at the right time, and heard by the right audience that can inspire masses to change the world. Change a life.
Anyone who has ever listened to a story told by my grandfather, father, or me knows our rambling tendencies. But consider the most powerful phrases we know: Thank you; I’m sorry; I love you.
Strong, simple, and meaningful words.
Words don’t tug heartstrings they quench our souls. And 2014, for me, was a year in words.
34,100 words in To Dad, From Kelly. And consider this, my first draft had 45,000 words and second had 38,000. This is why you edit.
25,000 words and ideas scribbled in moleskin notebooks with handwriting so bad only my eyes can decipher.
2 words – It’s Finished – announcing the completion of To Dad, From Kelly to my mom and sister.
7 words – I can’t believe I fucking did it – that immediately followed.
3 words – I love you – shared in the small numbered hours of a March evening with a love the Gods have blessed me with knowing.
12 words – Goodbye my friend, I’ll see you when I see you. Love, Kelly – that let me say goodbye to my father.
2014 was a year for words. What will 2015 bring?