Living words

Sometimes you pick up a book, and by the time you turn the last page (or swipe the last screen) you have a new understanding of yourself. An insight that makes you feel less alone in this world.

I experienced many such moments in the last book I read – and not merely on its last page.

A sentence that resonated. A description. A turn of phrase.

Each one I immortalised with a screenshot. So I could come back to it when the thread of narrative had released me, and contemplate it a bit further. Like making a decision the morning after a good night of sleep. Or creating distance to add perspective.

I needed to test these phrases again to see whether my realizations were still true, and how deep they went. Test their power.

And I was happy to find that when re-reading the lines and the paragraphs that resonated most deeply, while they were still encased in pages of a truncated story, they carried the same magic, the same power.

But the minute I tried to pull them off the page, immortalise them on their own, shine a spotlight on them – in a notebook, on a blog – they lost their life. The words died.

Like most things, they needed to be in their own environment to shine brightest, to live their true potential.

And so I give you the screenshots that I extracted from Will Ferguson‘s 419. And I leave it to you to identify the lines in these extract that shook me most strongly.