Yes, Margaret Atwood. A word after a word is power.
I am a writer. This statement has resonated with me more now than ever. I have, after years of pouring my heart out behind a keyboard and in the pages of journals, finally built a career around something that I love. Something that I’m passionate about. Something that fuels my soul. Every. Single. Day.
I’m blessed, this I fully realize. But I have also worked my hardest to get where I am. It wasn’t an easy road. It isn’t an easy road for anyone striving for something good, is it?
But as I sit here, early as hell on a Wednesday, I am struck by the simplicity of Atwood’s quote. A word after a word after a word is power. Power. Writing is power. I think that’s why I’ve always been so captivated by it. Words have the power to hurt or to heal, to solve or to complicate, to break or mend or confound or some mix of all of three. I’ve used my words to build and repair relationships, to sever myself from toxic people, to encourage and tease and inspire and bring hope. Words are powerful. They are the way that we connect to one another, the way that we are all knotted and stitched together–our words–spoken, written, shared.
I think that’s why this quote resonates with me so much this morning. Because even though Margaret Atwood is seventy-six-years-old and living in Canada, what feels like a thousand miles and years from me, I read her quote and feel like she understands some deep part of me and what I do. I’m twenty-three and living in Iowa. I’m a world away from her in every aspect, but I get it. I know what she is saying about words, about their power. We are connected through them, connected because of them. We are intertwined, despite generations and land and computer screens between us. That is powerful.