I don’t remember when the idea first came to me, but I have often thought, as I return to my home, that if houses had punctuation it would be helpful.
I picture a great big exclamation point floating in the air over my home. A sort of “DANG!”
It would be helpful for emergency response, wouldn’t it? The ambulance would be racing down the street and spot the 12 foot exclamation point above the roof and know exactly where to pull up.
Imagine the other sorts of punctuation that could be used. A great big question mark for those who are wrestling with tough problems. A comma for those who are taking a breath and getting ready to finish a thought. For those who can’t quite bring themselves to finish what is going on their lives, ellipses...
I imagine politicians and CEOs would have an emphatic period: “That’s the way it is and I have nothing further to say.”
Perhaps there could be other signals... not sure how we could express the emphasis we might want with italics or bold fonts. perhaps the house would appear a little slanty or the outline might get thick and dark.
And fonts! From script to helvetica, typewriter to copperplate, it would be really handy to see on the outside what is going on within. Elderly spinsters would have flowery cursive with little flairs at the end of each word. Blue collar homes would print. And think what it would be like if every home had floating above it one word...
I try to be pretty careful with word choice and punctuation. I have my own little excessively strict rules for the use of commas. I am pretty free with whatever tricks I can use to get my mood, thoughts, nuances across in my writing.
But, like punctuation floating in the sky over my community, really expressing myself, even with careful word choice, isn’t so simple.
Words are symbols. They don’t replicate reality, they only convey an approximation based on a person’s interpretation of that reality.
I have a lot of emotions churning within me. Not only do I fail in communicating them clearly, I fail to even understand them myself.
There is one in particular I have been giving a lot of thought: anxiety.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Well. God seems pretty clear about that feeling:
I wish I could turn it off. I need to just trust Him.
I do, mostly.
But not enough.
I’ll keep trying.