I would like to write a post in sounds or actions because it has felt, over the past few weeks, like I am unable to speak. Words, which I have always believed to be fundamental to connection, have felt elusive and inadequate; and the sense of what I am trying to say, just out of reach. The sentences form – and then when I open my mouth or touch finger to keypad, I find that the order of words has suddenly gone. At other times, I know exactly what I want to say, but there are a hundred reasons why I can’t.
And so I have sat, staring at a blank screen, desperate to write my thoughts into sense. Have been on the edge of speaking– and then yanked myself back before casting the lifeline. Have strung words into order, and then edited out the meaning until they don’t say what I really want. It has felt, horribly, as though I have been gagged.
Earlier today I sent a very special friend a message. It said nothing and everything. I sent it knowing that I was lost for words, but also that I was desperate to reach out.
This is what I learnt –
- That sometimes you have to start at the outside of the conversation – hello, I’m here, I want to start speaking – and talk inwards until you reach what you are trying to say.
- That it is the dialogue, sometimes, that helps extract the meaning; and that words are different in interaction than they are on their own.
- That you can borrow words when you are struggling; and that sometimes, other people can say it better than you can.
- That it helps to say that you do not have the words, rather then to sit back and let the silence grow.
- That sometimes it does not matter what you say because the connection can be founded in words that have already been said.
- That wanting to speak is normal because telling our stories is one of the most important things that we do.
- That it is probably the connection I am seeking and the words, whilst important, are a vehicle rather than an end goal.