Words.. are my thing. Words are home to me. I visit, of course, other fine and wonderful things that touch my heart and feed my soul. Art, photography, music (oh, music does some magical things…), watching falling leaves on a rain-kissed path, mastering shapes of things in passing of clouds.. what beautiful excursions for my soul. But my soul always finds its home in words. Home is where it comes back to put the pebbles from the sea on to the mantel, the fallen leaves pressed between the pages of an old book, and the epiphany of a musical evening into a conversation over wine- the soul decorates, stores, processes all else through words.
Perhaps it’s not the same for everyone. My mother, for one, always says that not everything needs to be said. I know what she means. She speaks of intuition and intelligence, empathy and maturity. And yet, I need words. If someone asked why, I won’t have a smart enough answer. I doubt that it is good or bad, I think it just is. I have an intense need for making sense of my experiences and surroundings (nothing inherently good or bad again), and I have always done this by putting things into words… spending countless hours just sitting and speaking to friends about everything under the sun through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. And I have always written. Journals, poems, general drivel… since I learnt to write.
And it is through this dwelling on things insignificant and significant, that meaning emerges, dots get connected and insight shines through.
The more there is to process, the more I need to find my words. Of late, I am having trouble finding words. Perhaps I haven’t had the time. And so, the soul feels like it is starving. Or drowning. . A few words do bubble up to the surface now and then, like lost goods in a flood.. But that’s not enough to claim the city again, or to feel at home. I am finding it easier to go into a visual mode- pictures, painting.. it is a beautiful distraction. I stay afloat, but far from home.
It is making me question, too, why does it have to be words and not something else?
Am I narcissistic? So that my personal experience and interpretation of everything seems so important. Maybe. Even when music rends my heart open, my quivering heart reaches out for words.. Spoken or written. That’s when my emotions become truly mine rather than a passing stab on the heart. How pain gets processed to become poetry or insight or even lightness and laughter.
Do I dislike ambiguity? I like how I can translate the vague feeling of being hurt by someone’s words to the exact description of ‘that feeling of being punched in the stomach’. I am closer to sharing my exact experience. So perhaps it is connection that I am seeking by sharing my exact experience?
Am I afraid that things that are truly significant in the larger scheme, will slip by unknown if I am not paying attention? Reflecting and putting things into words helps me truly give things attention.
Words go into the region of the unacknowledged and unprocessed, touch and feel it and hold it up to show you exactly the shape and colour of what is going on just beneath the surface.
The answer may be all of the above to some extent, or something else altogether. I think I may find out eventually if I can keep finding my words. Or perhaps there is no need to ask why a place is home. One should just be grateful that there is such a place.
Featured Image: Shefali Khokhar