It is always so strange to me that words hold such power. They evoke emotion. Inspire change. Promote questions. Yet they also work in reverse. When we use our words to describe our fears, our worries, our doubts – we pull out the power.
Doubts lose momentum.
The big and scary slowly deflates.
Placing it on the page is like challenging all of the negative to a draw. A stand off. Walk away. Turn and face. Big breath.
I begin day one of this month long writing journey by letting the doubts have their space. If I can leave them mostly on the page maybe they’ll stay out of my head. Not interfere. Not make me freeze.
But they are here now. Questioning me. Focusing my gaze on the negatives. They are numerous.
Words have left me.
Images are muddled.
I have no more stories to tell.
Last year words saved me. They held me up. They settled the angst. I told my way out of the hard stuff. The words led me through changes. A new job. A new place. They helped me find my way. They shone the light where I needed to look. They soothed me.
Now, words seem to be running away. Or running by. I can’t catch them. They race at me and throw themselves all over the floor. When I try to pick them up, they slither away, What’s left holds little meaning. Words right now seem confusing.
Words are too complicated. They tangle around themselves when I am looking for the simple. The one word. The ability to name. Not even the answer but at least the nuance of the question. They won’t come to me. They resist. They make me doubt that I could ever tame them at all.
I remember those feelings of capturing truth. Sticking it on the page syllable by syllable. Holding it there with images that settled into rhythms. It never seemed easy but it seemed possible. I wasn’t scared away moments after beginning.
Words have visited me here and there in this past year. Always they came when I needed them most. Now, perhaps they are so elusive because I don’t need them as desperately. I just want them. They are determined to make me work.
I see the words standing facing me. And if I am honest, I can make out what they are saying. They aren’t really gone. But I have to walk towards them. They reside where it’s hard.
The face off is against vulnerability.
So I need to find brave. Hold my stare. Resist avoidance.
Walk towards the complicated stuff.
And then, the words will come.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.