English is my second language and though I have lived in Australia since I was a baby, I can still struggle with how to pronounce or spell a word. Like almond which I used to pronounce as all-mond instead of ah-mund as it is spoken here.
I am an immigrant half a world away from where I was born ( in the Netherlands ) and neither of my parents came from an Arts background.
Yet … I collected proverbs and sayings since childhood, transcribing my favourites into a special book. I wrote poems. I sketched storylines for children’s books and animated movies. I studied journalism. I wrote hundreds of articles now published internationally. And I wrote some books. Little Books of Aloha based on my journalistic travels in the Hawaiian Islands which became very popular.
But it was not until I was exhausted to the bone being a writer that I learned why I am a writer.
I wrote last month about my mother showing me a diary my Great Grandfather had written during his time in a Nazi concentration camp – and that I finally understood why I write about love, peace and freedom. That the DNA of our ancestry weaves within our bones and influences our lives can be an overwhelming discovery.
Other reasons are fuzzy. Especially why I ended up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean writing about the Hawaiian Islands when I cannot establish a connection on the branches or the leaves of the family tree … yet.
But one thing has become very clear to me since teaching journalism for half a decade at my old university and starting to blog and connect with writers around the world: writing is an art form as sacred as any other practise on Earth.
Word Art and all Word Artists are a great gift to civilisations. As both a record for the future to look back on and learn from, and also to provide thinking matter to our current civilisations.
We plant the seeds.
Whether the seeds of thoughts, ideals, news stories, history, current events, beliefs, religions, recipes, medicine, creative storytelling or a family tree: we plant those seeds.
And whether those words take hold of a person, a town, a nation or whether people will look back one day in order to learn from the past: we are the word gardeners.
That we can today plant these seeds using technology and making forests of word garden available to all the world is incredible. Whether it will still be able to blossom in a few hundred years who knows ?
Every new thing you learn in your time on this Earth is sacred.
Especially when you find those inklings, thought-forms, daydreams and intuitive sensations you have had for a long time are confirmed either slowly as you go through life or spontaneously when something happens.
And that little seed of knowing deep inside of you, likely planted by your ancestors, blossoms again.
Some seeds can lie dormant for many seasons or many years or even generations.
This does not mean they are no longer fertile or asleep – merely a knowledge blossom waiting to burst when the natural cycles of life are ready and more importantly, you are ready too.
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