I read your post last night and wanted to say — I know. Not exactly what you know, of course, and not in the same way, but I know.
Millions and millions of words have passed through my mind and flown from my fingertips. They’ve turned in my heart, and come pouring out in language that’s passionate, spontaneous, difficult, joyous, measured, bumbling, angry, curious, loving. . .but somehow never sufficient. I would trade them all for one perfect symphony, or even a well-strummed guitar, but I wouldn’t play for a crowd. Instead, I’d surround myself only with friends and people who understood how much heart goes into every note.
It’s painful and less poetic to admit, but sometimes I’d even trade all my words and my love of music just to be beautiful. To be that woman that makes hearts pound and doors open merely by the act of existing. Arm-candy is surely an easy gig, but one, for better or worse, I’ll never know. Instead, I have a mind full of passion, stories, desires, trepidations, and thoughts.
Language has an energy but as you implied, it’s the unexpected and often wordless sensation that drives the need to decipher, illustrate and tell the story.
I see us all as reservoirs in a way. We fill ourselves up with experiences, thoughts, and feelings and we have a choice to keep them in or let them flow out into the world. More intimately, we make choices as to whom we let fill us and whom we pour ourselves out for.
When our decisions are good, we are rewarded with meaningful friendships and loyalty. When they are bad, the consequences can range from temporary hurt to long-term devastation.
I watch the world from my corner of the world, and feel extraordinarily amazed, and often overwhelmed, by my level of amazement. A father on PCP chews his son’s eyes out in Bakersfield, while another man lowers himself into a steaming boiler to rescue two co-workers. Incongruency abounds.
There are people who lie and know they’re lying, and people who lie mostly to themselves. People who accept the basest or least amount of love offered because they don’t believe they could get or deserve better. People who stay quiet and hidden out of fear, and people who speak loudly for all the wrong reasons. There are people who seek to cause pain, those who seek to be inflicted, and those who will run from it — even when it’s necessary.
Never mind the obviously shallow, narcissistic, or purposely deceptive people in our midst — it’s the everyday people whose energies we most feel. Those we know, love, feel something for — those whose words we read, or listen to, and whose lives touch ours, even though we are separated by thousands of miles.
“It’s only words, and words are all I have…”. It would seem that even the lyricists know that language is a pale sister to the beauty of music. . .or the skin-mind-heart sensations at the root of both songs and stories.
I know — our “bespectacled English grammar” often wants nothing more than to throw off its trench coat and dance naked and wildly on a bar to some driving beat of a song that practically the whole world knows the lyrics to — or can at least dance to if they don’t.
As writers, it would be lovely to hear, just once, “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it,” or “we made love all night (or fucked with abandon) to your latest piece”. It would make the sensations we feel more tangibly shared — it would make us musicians of the written word.
(Never mind. Really.)