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Monday, January 2, 2017

Until You Know Better

I want to write more again and so I found myself sifting through the many notes I have in my iPhone of ideas for poems. I have many random thoughts on my long drives home and so many of the lines are written through my Bluetooth using my not-so-good-friend, Siri. If you have ever tried to do this while driving and being unable to edit, I am sure you can imagine how hard they can be to decipher. Fortunately, I have many that are not gibberish and today, I came across two lines that struck me. Here they are:

A bottle of red is just a bottle of red until you know better

And a word is just a word until you know better.

I don't remember where I was when I wrote this. The date of last edit on that note is 10/6/2016 and I don't remember what happened that day that made me write this. It is funny how things we think, randomly on a drive home or in a grocery store or laying on the couch, can ring true months later.

Before I knew my love for red wine, it was just something my mother ordered when we were out to dinner or something grown ups gave to each other as gifts. In college, it was too bitter to drink. I stuck with sweet wines that make me cringe now. It wasn't until after I graduated college that I truly appreciated a glass of red and how well it pairs with steak or chocolate or cheesecake or the end of a long day. Something about growing older makes us appreciate bitter things. Dark wines. Black coffee. Fear. Grief.

Before I knew my love for words, they were just something I used to relay my needs. When I began writing at a very young age, I was fascinated by language and its sounds. But as beautiful as some words can be, they can also be violent. There are so many words I never knew the power of until they were used against me or someone I love. There are so many more that I still don't and hope I never will. But I know that words have bite now. Something about growing older makes us more cautious of the things we say. Chalk this up to experience or fear of offense or personal discipline.

I guess these two lines were meant to say, as we get older, we learn to know better. I have learned that a bottle of red can cure headaches, but can also cause them. I have learned that words can bring us closer or tear us apart. These are the only two examples I wrote down of things that can be both a blessing and a curse, but I bet I could write a whole poem listing hundreds. I bet you could write your own list, too.

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