The power of the written word

This week marks the fifteenth anniversary of the little paper that could. That’s right the Zephyr is a growing teenager that is still sometimes full of itself but always the voice of the news, especially the local news. Like it or not, when you open the pages of the Zephyr you’ll find the sometimes raw truth about what went down in the town and a whole lot more.

The letters to the editor section is always an interesting exchange. Norm has actually asked his regular and otherwise occasional contributors/letter writers to please keep their comments to 500 words or less, the average length an editor asks for and expects of any good columnist-wow! I think to myself over the nine years of writing weekly for the Zephyr how many times I struggled to find 500 words that came together and hopefully sounded at least somewhat intelligent. I ask you where else might you find such an open door for all to write and contribute their written word, unaltered, unedited no matter how damning to the editor or contributors?

Health professionals everywhere including myself encourage their charges to write, get the feelings out. Nothing crystallizes and clarifies better than the written word. If you don’t think so, I challenge to write short, medium and long range goals for any problem, challenge or goal you may be facing. If truthful with ones self you may find it a difficult even heart wrenching task. Looking at the truth of our lives is never easy. Keep the material for your eyes only, reread in a few days, a few weeks and then in a few months. You’ll be surprised at what surfaces.

This past Memorial Day weekend news and history programs featured stories of war veterans and the many emotion filled letters sent home to loved ones- letters filled with passion and love of life, country and family. Fearful of never seeing their loved ones again they did their best with their words to bolster up a sweetheart, a wife, a child waiting at home and in the process comforted themselves by knowing that if the worst came to pass they had had their say. Many of those letters have found their way into museums and private family collections, past on from generation to generation, guarded and treasured as if they were gold because they are.

The newspaper has long been the voice of America. Although I do listen to television news, the paper has always held a higher acclaim for me, especially well thought out editorials. Late breaking news as it’s called may be important, yet how many times do we find that later they shot holes through the whole darn thing?

Each week for the past nine years the latest copy of the Zephyr appears in my office. Many of my clients know I write a column, many do not. I will sometimes watch as clients read while waiting for their turn at an hour of relaxation. The response is many times positive sometimes not and sometimes outspoken. If it made you think, if it flexed that eight pound gray muscle in your head then they/we did our job. Want fluff? Read the Lady’s’ Home Journal. Don’t like what’s there, think you could do it better? Then give it a try.

Thanks and congrats Norm for allowing so many to find their voice and the power of the written word.

Till next time, Rebecca.