Tuesday, August 28, 2007

When Words Fail

I love words.

Words have romanced, enhanced, healed, inspired and empowered me.

I would like to believe that all problems eventually kneel before the intellect and soul as they are expressed in words, that their power, whether oral or written, is without limit.

I now know better; I now understand that words can fail.

I have come to know, in an undeniable way, the inabilty of any vocabulary, regardless of breadth or depth, to convey the unutterable.

Today, I sat with one of my dearest, most fiercely loyal friends as he struggled to absorb the news that his mom was suddenly, tragically killed in a plane crash.

Together we stared blankly at a computer screen as it showed video footage of the crash site, vainly straining to grasp the incoherency streaming from a reporter's mouth.

As my mind raced, heart wrenched, soul numbed and throat steeled, words betrayed me.

I did, in the midst of an exhale, humbly discover the power of silence, the comfort of complete presence, the fullness of peace, and quiet.

Perhaps the fact that we are born with two ears, and only one mouth, is meant as a reminder of their relative necessity.

I love words, but I know their limits.


SubtleKnife said...

I'm sending loads and loads of hugs to both of you.

I firmly believe it isn't always necessary to talk, it's far more important to be there.

Steven said...

The "sounds of silence" can be more powerful than spoken words. Your support will always be remembered. Great observation in your last line!

Cali said...

I feel so sorry for your friend. You, too, actually. Sometimes these events are nearly as hard for the supporting loved one as they are for the person who is grieving.

I'm a very good "mommy hag" and were I there I'd sit on the couch and hold the greiving party in my arms. I'd rock him while rubbing/patting his back and listening. Of course, I'd also have his favorite comfort food cooking in the oven or crockpot while I listened and a box of Kleenex, the extra soft kind-- no lotion, next to us.

I'm the Mom of a son, and I know what works for boys, even grown boys.

Re: your comment, I miss you, too, sweetie. I've been reading each entry and you're listed in my RSS feeds so I don't miss a single one. I just didn't want to seem like an obsessive, cross-country pain in the butt.

Also, yes, I'm still smoking. *sighs and hangs head* I was born addicted to the demon weed, tobacco and I've never been able to kick it for more than six months.

I hate that I still smoke, but at least I'm not using cocaine anymore. I'm down to two addictions: nicotine, as mentioned above, and caffiene. I'm not going to be too hard on myself because I know how much worse other addictions can be. At least cigarettes are still (barely) legal.

When I move to the new house, whenever the hell that will be, I won't allow myself to smoke inside, which will cut my consumption by about 75%. Still not perfect, but better than now and maybe, hopefully, eventually, quit for good.