We now have about three and half minutes to share, if you stay with me and read this little 500 word expose to completion. Three and half little minutes – not long hey?

Today I have set myself the task of writing to a word count, for I am apt to generally wander over any set limits, and approach a word limit in much the same way as a builder approaches a quote– i.e. always factor in another 20-30%!

Whilst it will take well over 30 minutes to write this draft, you will read it in less than a tenth of that time.

Three and a half minutes seems to be all anyone can spare to read anything these days. I know in my life, three and a half minutes is about as long as I get alone before a child is at my knee ordering more juice, or to be read a book.

I love words. I love reading. I love writing. I always have. I always will. I love the smell of a new book, and don’t see myself ever being attached to a Kindle. But the truth is, with the encroachment of Twitter, Facebook, even texting into our lives, it seems that most people just want to read the shortest possible way home.

In the process, I fear our language is being macerated and that we are losing the very essence of a life filled with beautiful words. Instead we try to say it all in less than 140 characters. Get to the point and get on with it.

What if my favorite poet Pablo Neruda had adhered to the less is more word economy of today?? The opening line of Ode to a Beautiful Nude, “With a chaste heart, with pure eyes I celebrate your beauty…” would become “UR a QT”

A friend last week shared enthusiastically how much she liked reading my writing. But, she said, she found herself scanning quickly through rather than reading them properly and we discussed how trained we are now to expect bullet points and our information mainlined.

The Web has certainly been a catalyst for succinctness, but it would be narrow minded to suggest that all writing for the Web be stripped to its essence for the sake of brevity. In this context the Web is simply a vehicle for publishing articles, one of many publishing destinations.

[new-p]I cannot compromise pleasurable writing for word economy. Victor Nell author of Lost in a Book, talks about ludic reading (reading for pleasure) and how the Web environment works against such writing. “Read a nice sentence, get dinged by IM, never return,” he says, and there is truth in that.

Lets not get too caught up in brevity at the expense of beauty. Lets slow down as we read and savour the selection of words. Lets slow down and savour life.

Writing is a wonderful and creative process.

Reading wonderful writing is a simple pleasure worth lingering over.

Time’s up.

Deep in the womb of every woman is her sacred song. Not necessarily of words as she knows them, it may transcend any melody or rhythm that she has ever heard. Tinged with blood and dust, this song lives its longing from the caverns of her sacred womb. Candid, juicy, sometimes impatient, her song reverberates with the beat of her own heart, sending its roots into river stones and whispers.

A womans own song is born into her through the experiences of her unique life and over all of time immemorial. When she hears it for the first time she knows it as if she has already heard it countless times before.

Her song rests quietly inside her waiting for her to bear it, like a child, into beingness. It awaits her while she is absorbed by the ‘stuff’ of life, until a time when her ears are present and her heart primed with pain or glee or glory, her soul in perfect harmony.

No-one call tell a woman how she might find her own song, for only in the folds of her intimate sacred life can she glimpse its presence and, just as it is in life, it is the journey she undertakes to find her song that will reveal it.

So she dances with abandon, sobs until she is parched, holds her children with a tenderness untethered to reason, and shakes in her ecstasy, not even realising that she is the author of her own sacred song in each of those moments.

And when she knows her song it serves her in the morning light, spilling forth from the darkness that precedes dawn, a child at her breast. She carries it with her always and when she can think of no other way, her song rescues her from despair and reminds her of her glory and grace. She fortifies her very existence with its words, and finds ways for it to carry her home to her place of rest and solitude.

When my song came to greet me I could barely utter its words, for it felt too brazen, too raw. I felt the words and the words danced me. The melody more like a spiral than a tune, I could hear the underscore of nature, a symphony of color naked in my ears.

How my song knew me. It was a time in my life where I yearned for my unborn children, ached for truth in the depths of my soul, and desperately needed to embrace my feminine instincts. My song was poignantly and lovingly direct, like an archetypal mother.

My song was, and will eternally be, a measure of my beauty. A virtue that I deeply need to acknowledge within myself and to this life. For as I stand here today and enquire of my heart what it is that I leave behind as a mark on this world, my song plays over again.

The fire in my belly,
Her voice that soothes my soul.
My sacred heart, my woman’s song
Beloved journey to my home.

Goddess in my darkened womb
A mirror in which I see,
The nature of my beauty,
The power inside of me.

A woman of true substance
A woman to behold
I am all I ever need
My story must be told.

See me wild and untamed
See me lost in ecstasy
See me open, full of peace and life
Dancing in the flames,
See me.