Word Power

I hit that sweet spot, just late enough, the soothing calm of late evening as I walked along campus today. The light was diffuse, ambient brightness just soothing enough. Harsh reds and yellows of the afternoon replaced by mellow oranges and magnolia. I could feel the the light wind ruffle through my beard, a gentle caress. It brushed against my skin slowly taking away all the tiredness of the entire day. The perfect combination of cool and warm, spring. Birds were returning home, I presume, all of them talking at once. Not a cacophony, a melody. The ambience did not let anything harsh intrude upon itself, everything was filtered through a peaceful calm. It altered my mood, I could feel the trees around me gently waving in the breeze, a days job done, time to sleep. The road was almost empty, the few people who were on their way home not making a sound, probably reveling in this paradise of a moment.

I went into a building, came out about fifteen minutes later. The drastic transformation outside immediately invoked that word. The word that has been coming up in my mind for a while now, exerting undue influence.


Twilight had fallen. Birds silent, breeze absent. A dark, heavy stillness hung in the very air, you could feel it in pressing down on you. The failing light showed everything unfavorable. Long shadows, menacing. The city lights started coming on, but looked really ugly without the utter darkness of the night that usually frames them to make them look pretty. The other people walking around looked like pale ghosts, motives unknown, faces unseen. A moment ago, DAY had let out one final beautiful breath, and NIGHT hadn’t arrived yet, and we hung in this putrid purgatory, an uneasy state of transition. I quickened my pace, to escape this brooding, heavy miasma into the relatively safe confines of my office. Once inside the building, I deliberately slowed down, taking the longer route to go up, hoping that the spectre of this unseemly twilight had passed. It had. Night has fallen as I think about the events of the last few minutes and look out my window at the pinpricks of light that sit tight within the surround blackness, the interplay of white and black and neon painting minimalist painting of a city gearing up for some night time jiving.

Just that one word, crepuscular, transformed the soothing balm of the evening into a festering mass of dark thoughts. If you have noticed, the word has wormed its way into all my recent writings, usually in inappropriate places. It crops up in my head, exerting its power at unexpected times. It is not alone and the other words are not so dark either. There are many such words that become fixed in your imagination, due to some incident or other. Such is the effect of this evening on me today, the other words elude me at this moment. Sometimes, like in this case, there is no story, the word crepuscular just fascinates me. It invokes so many things within the confines of about four syllables transforming everything, from a gentle breeze to a vile miasma just like that. Creepy, pustular, are the other subliminal words that are whispered in the background. The word invokes a sudden darkness, not complete, but just enough to invoke the despair of the description above. Such power. I wont even venture to dissect the profound effect of this word, or others on the mind in the right context because it is so self evident. It is a matter of experiencing it, feeling it. The word is not beyond words, but all its influence is explained away by eleven letters in sequence: Crepuscular.

Do we give power to the words we use, or do they come equipped with their own force?


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