When Words Ring Silent

For some people, words are the superfluous squiggles in the book that simply tell whether or not the princess lived happily ever after. To others, they are a torturous tool that must be wielded, however begrudgingly, in order to wade through the basic necessities of life.

To others, however, words are something irreplaceably necessary.

For these people, words can be relied on to convey information from other people, the world, and life in general. Yet an even more irresistable power of words is clutched by such a wonderer – they know that words can bring to the surface the world that is sometimes trapped deep within the inner person.

Words make clear crystals of fuzzy thoughts and feelings. Words make sense of chaos and expound upon order, and put great (or not so great) ideas into concrete form. (This is particularly useful when one’s entire persona is such that concrete is only known as something that threatens to trip one’s feet, while one’s mind floats blissfully somewhere among the clouds…)

But what does such a person do when the words have run dry? When page after page of black, swirling ink is silent?

In this deplorable state, the air is completely sucked out of the one who breathes the oxygen of words. It is a place of invisible words and unseen sentences and whole paragraphs lost in translation from heart to page.

A place in which, suddenly and inexplicably, a soul can no longer be written upon a page in order to be read. To be understood and accepted. To be loved.

In this place of darkness and uncertainty lingers one underlying fear – the fear that the words are lost forever. That they will be the voice of the heart no more.

Who can mend broken words? Who can decipher an empty page?

It is a mystery – a beautiful mystery – that those who do not need words so desperately, can somehow empathize with those who do. They are not shattered by the crossed out lines and the crumpled pages. They do not cringe at the smudges and the errors and the scattered punctuation.

Instead, they fill the gaps that have been erased and twinked and re-inked to no avail. They take the place of the hidden words with gentleness and strength. They speak to the heart, and they let the heart know its own beat, even with no words – and that it is still good.

They calmly unravel the confusion, speak the words worth speaking, and stand quiet and content when the words begin to fall again like autumn leaves.

They are a gift to the one who is trapped and wrapped in a jumble of words. They are the valiant keepers of the heart that beats a rhythm – one that is not always rhythmic – of words. They are the mirror by which a story written in a backwards font is still able to be read.

They are the clear and beautiful bell that rings true, when words ring silent.

© Emma McGeorge, 22 August 2013