welcoming back my words
In waning months, my words have been largely scattered. Scribbled journal notes late at night, when my favorite Sharpie pen is running out of ink and I know I should be sleeping, have comprised most of what I’ve written down. The others find themselves in conversations with friends, enveloping us around a fireplace and a bottle of wine, or devoured over tables and meals. My words have usually tumbled out quickly, without much thought or order; a mass exodus from a head that is too often too full. Instead of focusing on the substance behind the words, I found myself trying feverishly to empty out, to slow the thoughts, too frequently wondering how I might use them in order to be thought quick or witty or quirky.
But today, in the simple act of hand-writing a few cards to friends far away, I decided to stop and think before just writing words to fill white space. What is it that I’m REALLY saying? How can I reach past cliches or phrases that are losing ground and find a way to say something that truly speaks? How can I be a channel of love and honesty and affirmation, not for my own sake, but for the sake of those for whom I desire love, truth, and affirmation?
And I found myself thinking about this blog.
I thought about the multitude of entries, paragraphs, and words, many of them left in the past quiet of other years. In the last six months, I think I can count my entries here on one hand: a scattering of Instagram photos and a few musings. My words became fewer the more that I thought, “What you write isn’t life-changing. It’s not like anyone is really counting on you, hoping you’ll write, waiting for it.” And I’m sure to a large extent, that is true.
But I had forgotten what well-crafted words do to me and for me. In a medium in which I have become accustomed to hurry and bustle, taking time to sit down and write something more than a text or a 140 character Tweet — it forces me to slow down and honor the words which I give life. It brings about an awareness that there is more going on inside a human mind and heart than I acknowledge; a sacred rhythm which is deep and needs tending to and nurturing, not just expelling. As one who values well-spoken and well-written words, I felt stricken with the responsibility of returning to taking my own seriously.
So in that, I tentatively begin to ask myself if I might consider writing again. Not in order to be thought quick, witty, or quirky. Not in order to further Instagram my entire life, so I might keep a filter over the things that maybe aren’t so cute. But because our stories deserve to be told with intention, depth, and beauty. Because as much as I don’t always believe it, my story is not too unimportant or too small.
There’s a line from a favorite film of mine that seems to often sum up how I feel:
“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.”
Perhaps my life is small. Perhaps it is not so important in the grand scheme of the world. But it is a good, brave life. It is a good, brave story. And it deserves good, brave words. Maybe it’s about time I started writing them again.
Though this may seem like an ironic punch against what I just wrote, but I recently joined the rest of the human race on Twitter. I’d like to connect to new people, so look me up. I’d love to see and hear a little of your story.