Of Pictures and Words

Posted: May 14, 2010 in art

[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false]Psst… Can you hear it? The soft sound of grass underneath your feet? That fresh lush grass you’re walking though as you approach the Mountain. It is trying to tell you something in its velvet whisper, but it speaks the ancient language of plants, which you don’t understand. Is it warning you? Encouraging? Advising?… A light breeze blows in your face as the dark Mountain closes in. You’ve been walking toward it for four days and you are tired. But now that your destination is so close you feel weariness oozing away from your body. And then comes the moment you’ve been waiting for, the moment you’ve been dreaming about for so many years. You set foot on the surface of the Mountain, that eons of years old, primeval surface that so many generations have described in their legends. All is left is the last mile. It will lead you to your goal. The hardest mile…

Are you still reading? Or seeing? Feeling? Wandering? Do you still realize that all you see in front of you is just a sequence of signs we call letters? Or has your mind already transported you to the foothill of the mysterious mountain? If it has you have just experienced the power of words, which in turn have triggered the most powerful force you have — your imagination. Words only form a key that unleashes that power. Now even the world’s most talented painters would not be able to paint the same picture you’ve just seen. This is why movies based on our favorite books are so frustrating sometimes. They are trying to recreate what your imagination has already created for you and that is a doomed mission. Your imagination is the most powerful artist in the world. All it needs is inspiration.

Some pictures are worth thousands words. But we still use words to make that statement.

  1. psychicsarah says:

    Words evoke feelings, visions & *pictures*…

    (but so do good paintings;& outstanding movies)

    It is the translation of the evoked feeling (from any medium)onto our inner screen which has the impact.

    Our imagination can improve the impact of the conjured image…equally it may not (if we dont have much imagination).

    I agree though…’in the beginning was the word’…

    Words are the most powerful creative and destructive tool we have.

    (which is why we must always choose our thoughts & words so carefully)

    It is perhaps not our imagination which is our best friend or worst enemy; but the words we choose to convey the conjured image *thought* (to ourselves and others).


  2. psychicsarah says:


    …Just goes to show how subjective and subversive imagination and inspiration are…

    What inspires one person may leave another cold; what reaches one may repel another.

    So personality, experience and resonance clearly play a fundamental role in whether we *get* something or not…


  3. Diane says:

    Hmm…interesting commentary. I like how your blog causes me to reflect and think. Based on what you are saying, I would say there are as many “pictures” as there are people to read or hear words. What I was most struck by was your invocation to “listen”. I love Cage’s 4’33” and love Loggin’s lyric, “The voices in the wind will take you home again.” In order to listen, I must become really still inside in order to take “it” all in. I want to hear the mystery. I want to hear what the stillness is saying to me.


  4. Philmcrkin says:

    This was great! Reading your first paragraph, I was either: in a video game intro; in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; or about to walk the halls to take a killer exam.

    The “ancient language of plants” made me laugh! 🙂

    Still, don’t you think that there are such profound moments in life when words can only fail us? Or rather, words do not do justice to the experience?


  5. Dreamweaver says:

    Inspiring minds want to know…Is this Carrotop?


  6. Sunshine says:

    This makes me think of music lyrics. They are generally vague enough for people to paint their own life’s picture and/or they evoke feelings identifying the words to a similar situation the listener has been in. The words are expression of what the songwriter has to say and it may be a story of some sort that the listener can imagine whether a similar situation or not–it transports you in time. Sometimes listening to music without words we paint a picture in our minds (for me, there is a song on George Winston’s “Summer” CD that tickles my heart when I listen to it. I see a grassy field near a meadow with wildflowers, blue sky, white puffy clouds and this butterfly just flitting along in the sunlight–you can hear the butterfly in the music– and well, sometimes there’s the long carefree white dress and the man and the sandy colored horse–I guess like a romanticized 1800’s kind of thing). Music and lyrics connect us, delight us, stimulate our emotions. Perhaps lyrics are the most powerful words of all because put to instrumental sound, they resonate in people’s minds more readily by the repetition than any other words if comparing to conversations, books, poetry or even movies. Consider the Roberta Flack 1973 version of “Killing Me Softly with His Words” to describe how words and music demonstrate the listener relating to the singer/songwriter.

    Words make me see, music makes me feel so the combination can be intoxicating especially in the time or place you’ve chosen. There are times music is just noise to me and I prefer the quietness or I prefer to listen to information that will feed my brain. When I do listen to music, I enjoy it immensely and every now and then I’ll explore the different genres on Napster and discover something new without the dictates of someone on the radio telling me what is popular–I don’t purposely not turn on the radio in the house, I just don’t think to turn it on in my busyness. I still enjoy the songs of my growing up years just like the next person. I read that classical music was good for a baby’s brain development, so I tried really hard to like it when I was pregnant and I would listen until I couldn’t take it anymore. It took 2 years but now I do enjoy its soothing sound. It’s rare that I’m in my car alone, but when I am, I pop in my favorite music and cruise with the skylight back and windows down in my Liberty and that is just about one of the best feelings around—so free!

    Okay, Unmaskd are you going to set a word limit here because of my long posts and tangents? How about a blog on word refinement since you express yourself so precisely without too many words.


  7. Sunshine says:

    Today I was listening to some parenting guidelines on audio and it was chock full of good information. One part that stood out that pertains to this website was about the great truths in life are the simple ones. The speaker referenced there being 3 pure colors (red, yellow and blue) and said, look at what Michaelangelo did with those 3 colors. He said, there are 10 digits and look at what Einstein did with those 10 digits and there are 7 notes and look what Beethoven, Vivaldi and Chopin did with those 7 notes. He went on to talk about the popularity of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” being 262 words long of which 202 are simple one syllable words. I just wanted to pass this information along for all of you to nibble on (see, there I go again with my reference to food!) and think about and enjoy the beautiful simple things in life. I hope everyone is doing well while unmaskd’s site and twitter have been a little slow during the fast pace of everyone’s lives.


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