wordless things

i’ve wanted to write for weeks now, to sit down at a table with some coffee and a pen, and flesh out all the things i have inside of me. but every attempt ends up with the page blank and me frustrated and reeling in disappointment. and then i read this::

“I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don’t.” (W. Somerset Maugham)

maybe the reason i can’t seem to find the words is because life in this season is full of the wordless things, things i shouldn’t speak but feel instead, in the slow beating of my heart and how my breath sometimes catches in my throat. those are the things i’m after, the things i live for these days. these are the things that make me weep silently into my pillow at night, the things that make me laugh until my belly hurts and my cheeks feel stretched and tight from smiling. they’re the things that make me want to create, make something beautiful with my words and my heart and my hands; the things that feel weighty and worthy, like they could weather a storm and endure the years long after i’m gone, be carried into generations yet to come.

these are the things i carry with me, and i long to share them with others, to open up this bleeding heart of mine and show you the wordless things, how they’re are all folded up inside of me. i want you to see, to understand, to maybe even tell me you’ve been there, too. 

but these days, i just don’t know how to say it. it’s not even just in my writing. it’s in the way my mind never slows down and my heart always feels full and heavy, but no matter what i do, i can’t seem to get any of it out.

how do you talk about 4,000 people dying in west africa, in the same streets your own feet once walked? how do you talk about fear and guilt and shame in the face of such a crisis? how do you talk about helplessness? how do you talk about the exhaustion you carry around with you like a blanket, heavy on the shoulders? how do you talk about the ache associated with the in-between places, when you’re standing tall in the here and now though your heart already can sense what’s coming there, in the not-yet, and it knows it looks like starting everything over…again?

what are the words for love, for hope, for finally understanding what home feels like? for laughter and breaking bread with soul-sisters at the table? for dreams about someone you haven’t met yet but has been a part of you all along? how do you explain what it feels like to see rays of early light dancing on the asphalt, for the minutes you have in the morning quiet, a mug in your hands? for the moments of struggle and tension that come along this faith-walk, messy and glorious though they be? for sitting with the knowledge that all of us, we’re connected, somehow, and this, this very moment and whatever you’re doing in it, it matters more than you could ever know?

honestly, i don’t know. but i’m starting to wonder, and i like that, this feeling of wonder, of maybe. maybe life these days is more about wordless things than the ones i can explain away because it’s actually giving me some sort of favor, a blessing in disguise. maybe i’m learning how to simply be in the moments, to take them in and allow them to move me. maybe this is the only way: to feel and experience, to cry and laugh and ache and question and long and love.

maybe in doing that, life is lived instead of just talked about.


(Photo by Khaz // Creative Commons // Flickr)

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