18 November 2010

Thinking About Quiet Days

Handwriting - free texturephoto © 2010 Crafty Dogma | more info (via: Wylio)

I crave silence. I want the words to cease. At night, I lay in bed and tell myself, over and over, “No words.” And I feel tense muscles relax and tired thoughts still and anxiety abate.

To think is to use words, if you are me. Thinking is all well and good most of the time, but there’s such a thing as thinking too much. Such a thing as too many words.

Instead of spinning, I want to be silent. I want to see and rest and be without analysis and without apology.

I’m in the business of words, learning to string them and to strew them, loving their sound and image and intensity. But if all I’m left with are words, if I can’t make them stop, I’ve fallen off a horse of another color.

Words make for easy answers. In a world without them, in that place between where I usually take a breath so I have the air to say more, things are complicated. Murky. Hard to hear and to hold. But beautiful.

Words can usher people in, can offer hospitality and the warm fire of love welcoming them. But they can also put up walls, keep people and their hearts at bay. Sometimes the line between the fire and the wall isn’t so clear. You-can-come-this-far-but-not-farther is something of a mixed message.

When my words cease, I wonder if anyone will love me. I wonder if I can make them all see who I am and why they should care I wonder if they’ll bother with the quiet girl. I wonder if they’ll remember that I stood here, that I lived and watched and tried to make sense of it all.

God is still there, even when the words are not. I don’t feel him right now, but I know he’s there, asking me if I can look at him without thinking of him, if I can make space for him when he isn’t speaking.

I offer these imperfect words alongside the Imperfect Prose community hosted at Emily's.


L.L. Barkat said...

I liked this. It felt like extended poetry.

christianne said...

Wow. I loved this post for you, knowing what words mean to you and how much a part of your life and your inhabiting of the world they are. I like the way you use words and how important they are to you. But I can also feel so palpably in this post how limiting and stymy-ing (is that a word?) those words can be, how they won't let you rest or breathe deep because they won't end.

In the midst of many words running through your mind each day and night, my prayer for you is the finding of the space between the period and the first word of the next sentence.


emily wierenga said...

i agree with LL. i like this too. how you used words to tell us how limited they are. i know what you mean. in those moments, i paint. and for this reason i treasure my son who conveys so much without language. it's purer somehow. i think the world gets complicated when we try to explain it away. love to you, dear sarah. your heart is beautiful.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Just gorgeous.

terri said...

this is beautiful sarah. to value words and to recognize their limits is a very good thing. good things come from silence, i think.