Want More Words

“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.” – James Earl Jones

If you ever want me to fall in love with you, as a friend or a romantic interest, here is the recipe:

1 – be a wordy, linguistic, expressive or literary type


2 – be someone who can be hugely validating of pain, trauma, and emotional challenges.

If you happen to have both, wow, we could be in for a long lasting friendship or amazing love affair.

A few examples of this:

  • A few months back, a male friend of mine, that I was yeah, like sort of dating, came up from behind me, grabbed me rather roughly and begin reciting a Russian poem to me in my right ear.  To add to the drama, he recited it in fluent Russian and added the right amount of literary inflection.

I did not understand a word of what he said to me in Russian but the entire scene excited me. I coulda dropped ‘trou in a second. (I didn’t).

  • Since the day I have known him, my daughters father has a habit of expressing himself, our relationship, his feelings through song lyrics. At any given moment he will send me a song, snippets of lyrics, that perfectly, instantly, succinctly and deeply drive home an incredible emotional point.  In addition, while a rather withdrawn introverted person on the surface, behind the mask of silence, lies a man with an uncanny ability to express himself in writing. Again, wow. Gulp.
  • Several months ago, my Russian poem reciting friend and I were watching television in my living room.  My ex husband called and I took the call while sitting with my friend.  The call became challenging and emotional (as many post divorce calls often are) and I got up and left the room to give myself some space from my friend.  When I returned to the room after ending the call, my friend sat silent.

I returned to my seat on the couch, friend wrapped his arms around me but he said nothing.

Several minutes pass and he says “That sounded like a difficult conversation. Are you okay? Do you need some space?”.

I melted inside.  Understanding, validation, compassion.

  • A few years back my then husband returned home from one of his many business trips with a gift for me. This was rather rare and as a result I was a bit surprised. The airport gifts were typically for the children.  I unwrapped the tissue covered package to find a pink tee shirt with green lettering.  Across the chest was printed “I love singer-songwriter types”.  Now my husband was definitely NOT this type but the fact that he realized I was?  Heaven.
  • Two nights ago my younger sister called me to relay an event in her life. She had been out with a few girlfriends and the topic of adoption came up. One of the friends at the table was in the process of a kinship adoption of her nieces twin infants.  As she told the story of her pending adoption, the other girls around the table (my sister excluded) began to gush and goo over how wonderful the future adoptive mother was, what a great thing she was doing, how lucky she was, how lucky those babies were.  My sister?  My sister sat silent and struggled to be happy. My sister, through her experience with me, and reading this very blog, has come to realize that while there may be positive aspects about it, there are also many horrible aspects as well.  She called to share this with me and without even knowing it, she validated me.

What the hell does all this rambling have to do with adoption?  I thought about this the other day when I pondered for the bagillionth time how I have not heard from my daughter in what will soon be eight months.

I thought how our last exchanges were difficult ones and how I fear that she is not writing because she fears her words will be taken out of context.

I recall how when I sent her an audio letter for her birthday (we have never spoken on the phone) she “loved it as it could be trusted..where as words cannot..as they can be written..edited and rewritten and you lose the emotional aspect of them..”

As a communications professional, I understand her concerns, but you know, she doesn’t have to write anything deep or emotional.

She could write me what she had for lunch yesterday and I would love it.

2 Thoughts.

  1. “She could write me what she had for lunch yesterday and I would love it.”
    Yes, yes, yes!
    The last update I got from my daughter’s Mom WAS about her favorite lunch – egg salad and blackberries – a quirky choice for a one year old, but an update that lights up my day.
    Sometimes finding the right words can feel so hard, but then I remember how much the simple words mean to me and it gets a little easier….

  2. We breathe words.
    They come in whole and the alveoli of our auditory processes deliver them through semipermeable membranes to the complex circulatory system of thought. Throughout the system they fuel countless processes. They are stored and compounded; broken down and recombined into useful substances. In health, they feed and nurture the processes of growth and renewal. In sickness, they also feed the cancers and viruses that depend on the same raw material.
    The quality of words in our environment is as important as the quality of our air. Some are noxious in themselves. They cause us to choke, gasp, and flee the source. Others bring relief and we find ourselves sitting down to take them in in deep refreshing breaths.
    Death attends the lack of words, and too many make us dizzy and we need a brown paper bag to shut off the supply.
    I’ve been at crisis points where I needed verbal CPR to keep those processes moving until health returned. At other times, I find myself at the point of someone else’s crisis and can render the same, and help move the casualty toward safety. For some the processes are so broken that they are on life support.
    Words matter. This is an environmental awareness issue. Thanks for raising it, Suz.

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