Words Wednesday is a column where I share whatever quote I’m most in love with this week in the hopes that it will make both of us better writers. Whether it be from a blog, a movie, or a memoir from a band I’ve never listened to, these words rocked me emotionally and I want them to inspire you too.
I have never been a big Tegan and Sara fan, mostly because I desperately avoided their music while I was in high school out of fear of being gay. Now that I am a fully non-terrified adult human, I love their music, but I’m not a fan per say, but I do enjoy their music from time to time. Anyways, I recently read their memoir and I loved it, and this quote is from there!
High School is about Tegan and Sara’s life in high school. They were both closeted, in secret relationships that they kept even from each other, and doing a lot of drugs and writing a lot of music. I love the way that they alternated perspectives, retelling the same period of time as a different one of them narrated the experience. The memoir managed to embody a high schoolers emotions while still having the knowledge and hindsight of an adult, and that is something very difficult to do.
This quote is a perfect example of that. It’s written so simply and yet is actually complex and emotional if you get into it. It also doesn’t really make sense as a standalone quote, which to be honest is making it pretty hard for me to write this description, but I still love it and so I will still post this post.
Human’s are animals at the end of the day, and so many of our worst impulses are just the animalistic behavior inside of each one of this clawing its way to the surface. Our animal behaviors are the ones that prompt us to lie, to cheat, to put ourselves before everyone else no matter what the impacts are for other people. As teenagers these urges are especially strong because we are growing, developing, and most importantly trying to find our places in the world.
And so there’s an inherent draw to being just an idea.
An idea is a form of poetry, it’s a simple thought, it’s a complex description that can never be pinned down. An idea can be anything. Ideas have the power to shape you and to change you but they can’t be described concretely, not really. If an idea becomes too concrete, too much of a thing, then it is no longer an idea at all.
So for a high school girl, there’s this draw to be more idea than animal. It takes away all of the raw parts of yourself that other people can judge you for (or that you behave for other people to perceive you based on) and leaves just a floating, ethereal mist.
Maybe I’m reading too much into a quote that has a simple meaning in practice, but I don’t know. I think the power of good writing is not that there’s a hidden meaning in every sentence, but that we each cast our own interpretations onto the sentence that the reader wrote. This quote really did that for me.