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A Sunday Ramble


Peel back the curtain, and this is what you’ll find:

Me, wearing an old red t-shirt and grey sweatpants. I don’t have any makeup on. My hair’s tossed into a braid. I probably look like I need sleep. I do. Instead, I will have more coffee and hope that I don’t run into any walls.

But you don’t see that, do you? Because this is the internet, and like a book, all you get are the words. Whatever syllables and sentences fall into the dark, their echoes resounding in your ears. Formless creatures that leave a mark.

All you have are the words. They are your compass, your Beatrice through Hell. Sometimes, they are perfect, and you find your way out of labyrinth. Other times, to borrow a quote: rocks fall. Everyone dies. (Translation: nothing happens as it’s supposed to happen.)

With only words, you lose verbal cues. You lose the tenor of a voice – a thing that you hope to convey through tone and context.

Sometimes, in everyday life, I wish I could do away with tone and context. I wish I could unhear things that were said. I wish I could return them to store or shove them back into time.

But words stick with us, good or bad. They adhere to the inside of your soul, sticky fingers gripping unkindly at the walls. Certain things, they echo.

And even the echoes ache.

There are things that are continually rambling on around my head. Snatches of conversation. Unkind words. Instances of things that are not deserved – but life is not a game of fairness. It’s not a play where things are righted in the end. Lessons aren’t always learned.

In Shakespeare, there’s madness. There’s reason. There’s often a lot of death. But there’s always resolution. In Hamlet, everyone dies. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, chaos happens – and then order is restored. There’s always a twist, but one way or another, things are sorted out.

Poison and swords are often well-used. Witches spout prophesies that come true. People are warned, but folly ensues, anyway. In life, there is no warning. No well-meaning person shouting, “Wait, not that way!” or “I would not say such things if I were you!” or “Mind the gap.”

No, we muddle along, hoping to muddle through. And words stick with us. Words and actions, or inactions. Things add up to create meaning. That is where life is the same as a play.

As a writer, I’ve learned to pay attention to words. I’ve learned to be mindful of my tone. I’ve also learned a lot about speech and dialogue.

I hear what you say, when you say it. Moreover, I hear what you mean. And it echoes, sometimes.

Peel back the curtain, and what you’ll find is a woman, without makeup, trying to reconcile words and meaning. Because nothing comes of nothing, darlings. And there is an awful lot of nothing out there.

  1. April 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    One of my favorite things about you is that you indeed have a very intimate relationship with language. Things that I have to shout at with others, I only have to whisper when it comes to you, and you understand.

    However, it seems your sensitivity is a disadvantage in that it also creates a memory of when words were sloppily misused or cruely wielded. As you said, “There are things that are continually rambling on around my head. Snatches of conversation. Unkind words. Instances of things that are not deserved…” It’s unfortunate when one’s giftedness in sensitivity has this downside. This post really got to me…I empathize and thank you for helping us understand you a little more.

    If I can go off on a tangent, though, I think sometimes our true beauty comes when we are reduced to our core. Sometimes I have nothing elegant to say, nothing nice to wear, and yet somehow my essence is better then, cleaner and purer somehow. Anyway, I am rambling. 🙂

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