Above: Magnolia Tree in full bloom, Capitol Grounds in Columbia, SC (Spring 2014).
I believe strongly that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
I have not always followed that rule but the words I regret most are the ones I’ve spoken in anger, especially the ones I’ve spoken as a reaction to a perceived injustice, resentment that I had been harboring because I was too cowardly to say anything at an earlier time when I knew something needed to be said.
Words matter to me. They can break your heart, they can lift you up. Inspiration and destruction can both be instigated through words. They are powerful. They define. They can be used to enslave or set free.
Then there is a lack of words. An absence, a void. I’ve always been extremely fearful of the void. Empty seemed useless and I used to fear that I was useless. Recently, I’ve started to realize that the void is to be embraced, not feared. I’ve spent a lot of time running away from the void, from feelings of uselessness and the worry that I may not matter.
Then life happens and the 'I' we had so carefully cultivated is turned upside down and all the hurt and sadness return and a restlessness arises in our being. We return to our age-old safety zone, return to trying to ‘figure things out’ instead of just sitting with ourselves. Life is teaching me that there are things that I cannot ‘figure out’, they do not make sense on so many levels.
There are things that are felt so deeply that I know what they are, what they can mean and yet in the absence of relation they do not matter, they cannot be. One of the great mysteries of life. So much is still a mystery to me but I have learned that there are things that I know. I feel deeply. I love easily.
Anything further depends on relation. I’m glad I am alive — that I still feel, that I can love without boundaries. The life force propels us forward and sometimes it pulls us back. We can enjoy the ride or we can fight it all the way . . .
Would love to hear your thoughts on words — what they mean, how they define; on anger, love, and feelings we cannot control. How do we learn to manage our feelings and act in healthy, beneficial ways because, or in spite, of our strong feelings.