Lean: “To rely for assistance or support”-Free Online Dictionary
In 1994, I saw the film, Shadowlands starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. Hopkins portrayed the writer, C.S. Lewis and he said something very true about books which I can’t remember verbatim. Paraphrasing, it went something liked this, “You are never alone when you have books.” Similarly, Jhumpa Lahari also lauded the magic of books in The Namesake through the main character, Gogol: “”My grandfather always says that’s what books are for…to travel without moving an inch.” Words provide “assistance or support” in a myriad of ways that I will explore and invite you to travel with me “without moving an inch,” except to hopefully run to your public library or download.
Leaning on words has been a mainstay of my life since my earliest memories; whether it was a lullaby sung to me by my mom; a story read aloud by a teacher; books and movies like To Kill a Mockingbird; the inspirational words of
Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ann Frank; lyrics that inspired an end to war such as those of Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs; the Bill of Rights startlingly symbolized by the lives of Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman; the mission of Freedom Summer; WJRZ during the early 60s; WBAI during the 60s & 70s particularly radio hosts Bob Fass, Steve Post and Larry Josephson ; Deejays Murray the K, Pete Fornatele, Vin Scelsa, Scott Muni, The Nightbird Alison Steele,; recipes that nourished our souls; poetry that spoke to me such as the works of
Lenny Bruce’s comedic take on society; Howard Zinn’s stating real American history; Jonathan Kozol pleading for the rights to a great education for ALL children for many years; Pete Seeger singing “One blue sky above us…;”
Words deliver “assistance or support” by being there, showing up, never leaving. They ask for nothing and in return they can change our lives…that is miraculous!
Whose words, lyrics, satire, orations, poetry, books, plays, actions have inspired you or transformed you? Dig within and make a list for yourself that will visualize the words you have relied on for “assistance and support.”