On Words and Worth and Singing in Silence

Sometimes I fear I place to much value on words. I find my worth wrapped up in them time and time again, and I’m not talking about the words of others (though I won’t shy away from a compliment. Unless you’re creepy. I don’t accept compliments from creepers, just sayin’).

It’s my own words that hold the potential to undo me. Or rather, the lack of words.

I’m a writer. Words are my life. I find fulfillment in pages upon pages of words streaming through my fingertips.

But sometimes… Sometimes there’s nothing but silence where the words used to be. Sometimes I have absolutely nothing of worth to say. I’m terrified of those silences because, when the pages of my journals are blank, when the cursor on the screen blinks empty, that’s when the doubts set in.

What am I doing here, really? Do my words carry weight? Can I possibly create enough of them? Is this yet another story that was born for the dusty shelves of Never Meant to Be?

Every time the silences start swallowing my words, I fear they’re lost forever, which is ridiculous because I’ve gone through seasons like this so many times and they never last. Winter sets upon my writing every once in awhile. The words curl up in their caves and hibernate like bears dreaming of spring. And that’s okay.

That’s what I have to keep telling myself over and over again. It’s okay to not have the words sometimes. It’s okay to dig deep and come up empty every now and then.

Steven James once wrote on the importance of silence. He said that without the silence between the notes, music is nothing but noise. We need the silence because then, and only then, can we finally hear the song.

When I stop trying to force the words, I can hear it. Playing softly in the back of my mind is a tune I’ve long forgotten to enjoy because I’ve been so busy trying to fill it with lyrics that never quite fit.

Some things are bigger than words. Some songs too beautiful for lyrics.

And it’s okay. It’s okay to melt into the silences as they fill our lives.

It’s okay to not know the words every once in awhile… just as long as you remember to sink into the song that has been playing all this time.

spider dance