Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Writing Words

with 4 comments

Relative Something is a blog. The word blog is short for weblog, as in, world wide web + log [regular record of incidents]. Blogs are written in an informal conversational style. I write about my experiences like I would describe them if we were just hanging out, minus the pauses when I can’t think of the word I want to use. A thesaurus is my friend.

It would embarrass me greatly if the frequency of my error in using a word were prominently displayed on my posts. I am forever grateful for the intuition to double-check a dictionary and thesaurus. I don’t write exactly like I talk but I do write the way thoughts and ideas come into my head. Another thing I am forever grateful for is the dialogue I was surrounded by growing up. My vocabulary came from hearing the words my mom and dad used while WCCO radio and television broadcasts ran as a background soundtrack.

It is not rare that a sentence will come into my head with a word that I don’t recognize as coming from my own common usage but feels connected to something my mother would say.

Yesterday, as I steeled myself against a biting wind chill, I caught myself doing the classic “air whistle” that is an obvious habit my mom displayed. I have tried to grow out of that natural tendency, with little success beyond increased awareness of occasions when I am doing it. At the same time, it’s a habit that always draws memories of my mom from deep in my soul and brings a feeling of pride over being one of her kids.

Why would I try to get myself to stop this behavior? Maybe it’s a remnant of the urge to grow up and become my own person.

I am unabashedly a product of my upbringing and my ancestral heritage but I have the desire to grow well beyond simply being like my parents. Striving to be healthier in mind, body, and spirit has helped me to interrupt a pattern of familial depression and the use of alcohol as (an ineffective –even detrimental) treatment.

I don’t have a memory of my parents writing poetry but I have read the poems of another of my ancestral relatives. My inclination is to assemble words in a rhythmic pattern that appeals to my senses. That often drives the selection of a word more than the meaning of the word itself. When the collection of words is stacked up, the variety of possible intentions often surprises me. I don’t always know what the poems are saying about me but I have learned that readers often come to their own conclusions.

Helping Cyndie to shape and reshape a story she hopes to tell in a week and a half has been a fun experience for me. It is blurring the differences between verbal stories and written chronicles. Either way, readers or listeners are forming their own interpretations in their minds, conjuring mental images and feeling whatever emotions the words inspire.

I have a feeling her project could help me to become a better writer of stories about the experiences of *this* John W. Hays.



Written by johnwhays

March 19, 2023 at 10:50 am

4 Responses

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  1. Random thoughts triggered by this post:
    ~ Grandma Bett’s “air-whistle” is one of my fondest memories of her. I caught Abby doing it once a few years ago and immediately thought, “she got the right middle name!” (It’s Elizabeth.)

    ~ I’m not much of a writer of poetry, but a collector of words. If the words that are assembled into a sentence appeal to me, I’ll stop to say them out loud to feel how they roll around in my mouth! Poetry is the best place to collect words for me.

    ~ I cannot wait to (hopefully!) hear Cyndie’s words!! 😆


    March 21, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    • Love this! Thanks. I REALLY hope Cyndie gets chosen to tell her story.


      March 21, 2023 at 3:26 pm

  2. Parents always want their children to do better than they have. As you get older, though, you’ll recognise some traits, good and bad that you’ve inherited from your parents.


    March 19, 2023 at 6:23 pm

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