When words won’t come


I love to write, to listen and to help people explore their own stories.
I love to read and especially like audiobooks when driving or cleaning the Hobbit House. It helps carve away the too-quietness.

Sometimes words come in a rush and a waterfall tumbling.
Words are a spewing, searing volcano.
Other words are Gentle whispers. Quiet moments. Intimate conversations.
Laughter-punctuated words that take the breath away.
Inaudible words when breath flees with courage.
Mundane words about paper or plastic, walk or ride, and recycling.

Sometimes words don’t come.
Instead of neatly marching stories  singing in cadence through imagination and thoughts, they’ll tumble by in a tornado swirl. For no known reason except that it is a day ending in the word, “day.”

Words sometimes seem frozen in a glacial lump; mostly submerged and calving as the air heats up. They are scattered in the dry high desert winds and drowned at the bottom of the sea.

When I can’t catch a reasonable sentence with a net, it’s a signal for me to stop and listen. To be still or drive in the country. Get my hands and feet in the dirt and water. Paint. Daydream. Walk.

To ask why I write at all. What’s the point?

Even without discernible words, I know I write for Hope. Encouragement.
A standing-arm-in-arm and cheering-us-on. A clearing out of the cluttered thoughts or a searching in the fields and floods for the words that once made sense. I write to make sense of a world that doesn’t make much sense today. To drop breadcrumbs in case I am lost and wandering.

I wonder if painters or dancers; chefs or numbers-artists step away from their canvases of choice. Do climbers forgo their mountains for a season? Teachers quiet their learning to recharge or take inventory of what matters now? CEO’s cease their delegation and go away to a quiet place to rest and regroup?

Words have been everywhere but in a reasonable design lately.

Instead of a canvas with foregrounds, backgrounds and unfolding panorama; they have been scattershot. Janky. Caught in throat. Snapshots and letters tumbling about the wind and end-of-winter.

My heart recently stopped for a few moments with a phone call. No lucid words came- especially grievous when I needed them most.

With spring stretching over the Tallgrass prairie and into the bending rivers and meadows around Tahlequah, Oklahoma, quiet seemed the only right response as I drove the hours to catch up with family-who-are-friends. Quiet had listening and contemplation close in tow. Words stretched out as telephone poles on lonely highways; not close enough to string a worthy sentence together.

Does this ever happen to you? You draw a long extended blank for no apparent reason?

No priming the pump will help the order of things return. No laughter or expectation.

Just waiting and listening.

Going about a day and hoping to dream and be productive.

Laying down goals pursued for a while. Time to take in the view.
Within and without.

And leave a few breadcrumbs in case we are lost and wandering.



One thought on “When words won’t come

  1. My heart, my sister, my friend. Sometimes words fail us, some we fear to say for what may come with them. These words I will never have trouble saying to you. I Love You AL.


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