Tuesday 28 January 2014

It's a Sign: Which side are *you* on?

Hi there.

You'll probably know this by now but ... I'm a bit obsessed with words.

They fascinate me.
  • I love to see what happens when I shuffle them together in a particularly pleasing order;
  • I love how they allow me to turn a simple sequence of 'events' into a narrative, a 'story' - something I can share;
  • and I love that they're both powerful and monolithic [after all, everything we think and say has passed through language at some point] ... and yet their completely flexible and accessible at the same time. Everyone can use them however they choose.
And I just can't work without them.

Everything I do, creatively speaking [blogging, writing, memory-keeping] revolves around words, words, lovely words, and so ...

... it's little wonder that I stopped to take a photo when I spotted the following contradictory lines of wordy graffiti, written along opposite walls of an alleyway in Newark-on-Trent.

I'm pretty sure I know which side I most readily agree with ... but how about you?

On which side of the wall do you stand?

Are you team: "Words are all we have"?
Or do you lean more towards:
"Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness"?

Or are you somewhere in between? 

The fact that each of these opposing phrases are accredited to the same writer - Samuel Beckett - may suggest it's possible to agree with both.

And surely it depends on the occasion?

Sometimes we need words; sometimes we need silence.

Either way you're going to have to use at least a few of them to leave me a comment letting me know where you stand ...

Julie :-)


  1. Hmmm what a great question. I am definitely, squarely, right on the fence here! Of course I love words, I wouldn't be able to speak to you with out them but I absolutely love and need silence and solitude. x I love that the quotes are on either side of the walkway.

  2. mostly I'm on the first but I have been in situations and (one sided) conversations where I would tend towards the 2nd. what sophisticated graffiti you have!

  3. Mmm.. I wonder which of these Beckett ever felt might apply to some of his own words? I'm thinking of our interminable uni lectures on Krapp's Last Tape..

    But you also have me wondering..has more (or less) damage been done in the world by the words we should have said and didn't, or by the ones we said when we really needed to be quiet

  4. "The opposite of a shallow truth is false. But the opposite of a deep truth is also true". (Neils Bohr, Physicist) :).

  5. I think I am on the fence too. I love words and what I can do with them, speak, write, tell a story. But I love silence too. Great post, very thought provoking:)

  6. I'm on the fence too, I'm afraid. There has been plenty of times when MY silence has been stained with words from others, but also I can't imagine life without words. I guess the answer is to know when the time is right for either silence or words, and that is not always easy! Great post - thanks.


Thanks for leaving me a comment, asking me a question, sharing your own story or just randomly saying hello.