July 11, 2019

The Beauty of Words - Carol Harrison

Skilled artisans, artists, architects and designers begin with a plan before they follow through to build, create and design works that are pleasing to the senses of others. Visualizing a piece of art, an amazing building or a well designed space makes me think of the wonderful talent God has gifted these people with so they can use their talents, time and energy to create works of beauty.

But as writers, we too have talents and gifts given to us by God. We take words and paint a picture with them. We draw our readers into the scene, transporting them to another time and place. Our words make characters come to life. At times readers discover hidden messages in the words we write or glean valuable lessons.

I love to read and always have. Writers have inspired me, challenged me and allowed many emotions to flit through my mind and pour out of me at times. Their words create beauty, especially in poems, that rival paintings.

At times, a picture or painting prompts me to write about it, describe in word images what I see visually. One of my granddaughters invited me to come to a poetry workshop with her several years ago. I resisted at first since poetry is not a genre I usually write. Then I decided to attend as an encouragement for her to pursue her enjoyment of poetry. I learned many things about various styles of poetry and read works by poets I had never heard of before. The writer-in-residence at our local library, who conducted the workshop, gave instructions to write a poem based on what we learned. This offered an opportunity to put into practice the theoretical knowledge taught that day. I balked, not wanting to even attempt the project but scolded myself about having such a poor attitude and chose to set a good example for my granddaughter. I wrote a short poem based on two pictures which hung in my brother's home.

The Pump pulled word pictures from the visual artwork in the pencil sketch and photo. I later wrote another poem, The Ballet Dancer, filled with emotions and thoughts drawn out of me when I studied a pair of paintings done by yet another granddaughter. The beauty of the photo, sketch and paintings now resided in the words on a page. All the skills given by God to different people collided to offer one more way for others to enjoy the scenes.

on                        Ballet Dancer

painted by Arianna Tooke
Cracked bloodied toes
Crushed inside
Pink satin slippers
Bruised aching ankles
Strangled within

Crisscrossed matching ribbons.

Gauzy luminous
Filmy chiffon
Elegant dreamy
Romantic costumes
Hide skin splotched with

Blue purple fading gold. 

                                                  Stately pirouettes,

painted by Arianna Tooke
Graceful twirls,
Poised en pointe
Polished movements while
Screaming muscles

Burning calves ignored.

Lilting music
Covers gasps
Pain kept masked until
Final curtsies done
Smiles disappear

When music fades, curtain drops.

Writing family stories and memoirs also allows the beauty of words to convey the experiences different generations of a family endured, enjoyed, survived and thrived through. It shares with the readers a glimpse into history, personal journeys and helps them know they are not alone even in the tough times.The stories capture the imagination and sometime fill our minds with what if possibilities. The written words allow the beauty of life to be expressed and passed on to the next generation including beauty in the middle of the ash heap.

 God gifts people with skills to create beauty. Some work with metal or wood. Others embroider, sew or design clothes. Still others paint, draw or sculpt. All of them share their work with their audiences and often teach the skills to those willing to learn. As a writer, I use words which to offer beauty to readers but I must also be a good steward and share what I learn with those not as far along on their writing journey.

I had the privilege and pleasure of mentoring a young, high school age writer. At first the negative voices in my mind tried to tell me I had nothing to offer her. But God gave me a peace about embarking on a five month coaching program with her. I read her words, offered her comments and edits and answered many questions. We also met once a month and during that hour together I taught her a short lesson, gave examples for her to read and shared helpful books on the craft of writing. Watching her soak up the information, work on her writing and search for ways to create beautiful word pictures of her own to draw in her own readers gave me a glimpse of the beauty of mentoring relationships.

God's handiwork surrounds us. He gifts people with the ability to put plans into actions where their designs become something of beauty that pleases the senses of others and the written word is art of skills to produce beauty. My prayer is that I will listen to the nudges of God and be a good steward of the beauty of the words he gifts me with as well as find opportunities to share my writing. I also want to be available and willing to mentor or coach those he puts in my life.

As a speaker, published author and storyteller, Carol Harrison is passionate about mentoring people of all ages and abilities to help them find their voice and reach their fullest potential. She shares from her heart, telling stories from real life experiences and God’s Word to encourage people and help them find a glimmer of hope no matter what the circumstances. She believes we need to continuously grow in our walk with God and lives out her storytelling passion by speaking at women’s events and retreats, Bible Camps as well as school assemblies and church events. Carol is a wife, mother of four adult children and grandmother to twelve. She makes her home is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


  1. What an inspiring post, Carol! I love the poem - so powerful. (I don't think people realize the pain and sacrifice of most ballet dancers.) Your granddaughters paintings are amazing, too.

    1. Thank you Tracy. I was thrilled my granddaughter gave me permission to use the prints of them - her old high school arts department bought the originals.

  2. What a lovely post, Carol. I'm so glad you took that poetry workshop with your granddaughter. I love the poem -- as Tracey said, so powerful. And beautiful.


  3. Good for you for going to the poetry workshop with your granddaughter. By doing so, you supported her in her craft and modelled a good attitude about trying new things. We can learn so much from our grandchildren and, hopefully, they can learn from us. Your poem reminds us that life isn’t as easy and breezy as it may appear on the surface. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Words sure are evocative. I love the lyrics of Kraftwerk for that reason. For example, what do these words evoke in your mind. "Interpol, Deutchebank. FBI, and Scotland Yard. Computer world." Those are just names but together they evoke their own atmosphere.


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