Finding my voice without speaking

It has been suggested to me that I should start writing more. (You may or may not agree after reading this.) Writing is my outlet, it is my passion, it is my foundation, it is what I do. Unfortunately I haven’t been doing very much of it lately.

So what would keep me from the very thing that defines me? Actually I’ve been asking myself the same question.

Is it my schedule? Well, it’s true that there have been a lot of changes in my life lately. I went through a divorce. I found a terrific woman. I started graduate school part time. I got a new job. I moved. So you would expect me to be busy…but if I am honest with myself I have to admit that’s not the reason.

Is it my mental state? It’s true that, despite the above developments (many of them positive), I still feel as if I am not in a good place. And, what’s worse, I still don’t have the vocabulary to figure out what a good place looks like. When I am talking about something that makes me uncomfortable I literally swallow air before I can get the words out. Asking me to explain out loud what I’ve been feeling is like asking one of my mother’s second graders to explain Chaucer.

This might explain why I’m not much of a social animal — at parties I can often be mistaken for a design in the wallpaper or a lifelike statue — but I do have a voice when I sit down to type something out.

Yet for some reason I haven’t felt the creative juices flowing through my fingers for a long time. The well was bone dry. It was as if I had lost my ability to communicate altogether.

And yet today I visited a loved one in the hospital who was trying to talk to me but, due to a medical condition, could not speak. Her voice had been taken away from her. But then I looked down from her face and saw something that made me even sadder — her hand restrained to the bed to prevent her from pulling out a tube or disconnecting a critical line of medication. She could not even write a note to communicate how she was feeling or if she needed something. It made my writer’s block seem inconsequential.

I cursed my fate because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.

Author Unknown

There may come a time in my life when I will not be able to speak. That might not change a whole lot. But if there comes a time when I become physically unable to write, I will be truly impaired.

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