The “Right” Word

            What are we waiting for?  And why?  It’ll never get any easier, and this is remedial.

I had thought we were awaiting the word.  The right one.  Any one, but right all the same.

I had thought that.  But I didn’t know why.

Since any old word would do.  Being all we had.

Still we waited, not quite believing.

How many words do you suppose there are? we wondered.  Given multiple spellings and various languages all – how many?  And their requisite alphabetical sourcings.  I reckon we could figure it out in an equation, don’t you?  Only so many letters rearranged so many ways with up to twenty-six (or however many) letters equals = ?  For every tongue?  There are limited options.  It’s certainly not infinite, this isn’t rocket science here, or religion, so to speak.

Still, we waited.  Because, well, because we didn’t know.  Know which of the any was “right.”  By which we meant, well, by which we meant “worked” for whatever it was we desired.  Which, again, we did not know.  Leastwise I certainly did not.

I had a feeling for how it might, or that I’d like it to, feel, but wouldn’t be able to tell you how that was until I found the right words, any words, but, you know, the right one(s).  I could kind of hear the sound, how it would wrinkle into the ear and swoosh down their canals, troubling the waters.  Or what textures the air would take as it blew up out of the lungs trembling the throat and over the tapping tongue.  Some idea or sense of it, but nothing particular, not knowing the word, only the anticipation and desire.

That’s what waiting is, after all.  A hunch without a reason or cause or an outcome.  Guesswork with some directed hope.  A running of options, but unable to identify.

So we waited, not knowing what we were waiting for or on, exactly, but also because we didn’t know.

And waited.

I could imagine its shape, the work of the muscles, the grip and the tracing of lines, but I couldn’t know how to begin, not knowing what or which curve happened first.  And was it dotted or crossed or simply angles and loops?  I had no way of telling, without the word, the one I’d keep waiting for, any word, the right one.

So I kept still.  Well, actually we paced.  Walked to and fro and back and forth, ahead and around, and sometimes sat down, sort of listening I guess, looking and listening for an outline or scrawl, whisper or code, some rhythm or sound that might bring on the term, any word, but not the ones we were using, no, the next one, the “just” or “proper” or appropriate word to our intake, our output, a resonance you know, what we were waiting on.  The “correct” as it were, word, sound shape texture intonation field of references emotive trail and so forth…that one.

The discreet utterance or image that would hear us out, carry us on, would solve us.

I’m waiting.

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4 thoughts on “The “Right” Word

  1. Wonderful post! To me, finding the right “word” is best when I have a rested body and mind. Creativity is at its peak just soon after I wake up early in the morning like about 5 a.m., everything is still, quiet and all I could hear is my heart pounding and my brain ticking…

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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