verb ema·ci·ate \i-ˈmā-shē-ˌāt\
Definition of EMACIATE
: to waste away physically
: to cause to lose flesh so as to become very thin <cattle emaciated by illness>
: to make feeble
What a word. Emaciate. Sad and sinister at the same time. The definition above from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
This word found its way into my life well before I understood it, in the opening lines of an emotionally charged summer theater work. It wasn’t my line, I just heard it. It was my scene, I didn’t understand it.
It’s amazing, the power of words. How words spoken or read can stay with you, reminding you of good, bad, happy, or sad times. Words can stink or pull at heart-strings and words can guide or uplift, inspire and destroy.
It wasn’t until very recently that I saw this word come to life. In a picture. Tall skinny body, always on the thin side but that was once commanding and muscular now gaunt. Hollow face set apart by protruding cheek bones, no longer rosy. Deep set eyes that once sparkled with nerve and adventure from under a distinguished brow line, now encircled by darkness. Ghostly.
Can you see this face? I see it clear as day. It haunts and hurts.
Is it possible to feel emaciated? Cause I think I have before. Maybe it’s other feeling that drive it and you fall away, into the shadows of yourself wasting away. Becoming consumed with what went wrong and how you should have done thing differently to avoid this place.
A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s a powerful picture if one little word can pack such a punch.
I told you it’d be thought provoking…