A Life of Collecting Words

volcan aranal

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been collecting words all of my life.

In each purse, a small red notebook would sit awaiting the next quote to be found. Book after book would be combed to find phrases. Some romantic, others wise, still more witty or insightful. But they were always meaningful. It’s a habit I should start up again.

Those notebooks represent more than pretty words. They represent stages of my life, as well as permanent parts of my character. And how much I love words and their meaning.

You see, I seek out words because of love.

The written word should be compelling. My attachment to language and literature stem from a love of beauty and truth. And freedom. Cue the Moulin Rouge soundtrack and bohemian attitudes, but stay with me. There’s a point to all this.

Wrapping my life in words has helped me in so many ways. Even this morning, I whipped out a Thomas Carlyle quote in conversation: “The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.” I memorised that at 13. Those words remind me to be humble and aware of my faults. Religious faithful encourage children and each other to inscribe holy words to memory. I know learning scripture helps me make better decisions because I am reminded of truth.

As humans, words can help orient us toward good.

In my own writing, I try to tell more than just an interesting story. I want to communicate ideas for you to consider. Not necessarily agree with, just something to think about. We are freer to be who we are when we’ve waded through the swamps of difficult ideas. And, yes, I want to add some beauty in all situations, too.

By collecting words and stringing them together into story tapestries, I am sending out love. As love compels me to collect quotes, it also pulls me to pouring out that love into writing. Friend, I write to reach your heart. Wherever that might be. Because you deserve it.

Are any of you word collectors, too? Share one of your favorite quotes in the comments. Would love to hear from you!

In Courage & Care,


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