I sometimes write over 5,000 words a day. I also speak nearly the same amount. That’s close to 10,000 words a day that come from me and get sent out into the universe. From phone calls and conversations with my kids, conference calls, blogs, emails, and text messages, I am constantly creating something from nothing with my words. Deliberately putting the words together to create an expression, a thought, a declaration, something to convince, something to explain, something to appreciate, or something to just move on to the next chance to write more words. Words uttered or scripted, placed side by side to be heard, read or interpreted by another. And there is something special about crafting words that way, about deciding what to say and then engineering that sentiment and giving it to another person.
10,000 words… waiting to be given meaning by the one on the receiving end of our intention. And sometimes they just hang there, like fruit waiting to be picked. Other times, they are hurled forward or offered with timidity or even awkwardly strung together by lack of time of lack of capacity to make sense. Sometimes they cut like a knife and sometimes they are just what we needed to hear. Sometimes our words are the only thing that we have.
But sometimes, despite the desire, the need, and the opportunity…. the words don’t come. The chance to say all the things that are bubbling just beneath the surface comes… but the moment passes in silence. And the welling of intent of depth of feeling cannot be contained… but the words won’t rush forward with the tide. And we are without the words that yearn to see daylight. We are rendered speechless.
And the irony is, the words that sting, hurt, and defile can be full of apology but the things we never say are far more treacherous to bear. Because unlike the words we give away, even those in haste, anger, or cruelty, those words, once released are no longer ours to carry. They are no longer our burden. But the unspoken words, the things left unsaid, the things still lingering without assignment, those words are not easily shaken. They are the wasted opportunity, the almost somethings, the nearly there’s, and the could’ve been’s. They are regret.
And the silence is not for lack of words… rather, its for an over abundance. And there is no cure for being speechless. The words that we can manage to extract would probably never be enough for those moments, and somewhere, somehow we know that but it offers no solace. And those words will remain unspoken, unwritten, and unknown outside the lining of our own hearts, where they live without expression, but the depth and breadth of the emotion that put them there maybe even 10,000 words could never do justice.