the power of words

When they fill a page, words can tell a story. They can instruct. They can change moods and minds. They are magic on the page. On the page, however, words can also be well thought out. They can be carefully placed. It is the gift of writing.

Said aloud, though, words can escape when your true intention was to keep them locked. It is the curse of speech. It makes me wish I had been born quieter. And less emotional. That wasn’t for me, though. No beautiful fairy waved her wand and gave me the ability to be silent every time it is necessary. In 43 years, I have worked on this, but I am just a student of this practice and often fuck it up. Think of a muddy glass of water. When it’s swirling and unclear, that is me at my worst. Once I get a chance to sit for a bit, the dirt settles and things are clearer. Being still is good for me. Being still with a pen and paper is even better for me. It seems that the dirt settles faster.


So, the power of words. They can undo. They can fasten. Silence can be good, if it’s followed by carefully thought out discourse. Silence followed by silence…

Well, there is a lot of power in having no words, too.

(Originally posted May 7, 2015, on