Stronger Than I Thought

I’ve broken out of my dry spell, discussed just two posts ago, I guess. First, it was the roadrunner, photos of which I posted earlier today, and now it’s a memory that haunts me and touches me in ways I cannot quite express. It’s the latter thing, the memory, that I will write about tonight.

I will try to share why I think writing is the most intimate endeavor in which a human being can participate. And I will do that, first, by referring anyone who happens by this page to another writer’s post, a post I have been unable to expel from my consciousness for more than seven years now. It’s not that I’ve tried; I would never try to do it. It’s that the words and the emotions they expressed touched me as deeply as any words I’ve ever read. I re-read the post on occasion and, each time, I melt and wither and feel empathy and sympathy and pain beyond my ability to comprehend, much less express.

Let me encourage you to read the post before you return to read what I have to say, which will be very little.

Speech can serve marvelous purposes, but most truly rousing speeches arise from carefully crafted written words. Or, at the very least, they arise from words that belong on the page; words that deserve to be preserved for all time. The carefully written words which I remember may, instead of being carefully written, in fact have simply spilled from the mind of a gifted poet whose words sanctify the page or screen privileged to hold them. Those words, which you will have read by now from the link above, flooded my mind when my own sister died. Those words flung themselves around me like comforting arms in those awful hours and days after I learned of her death. And I return to them more and more frequently of late. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps I am coming to grips with my mortality. Perhaps I understand that my own mortality signals the mortality of those I love. Perhaps it’s just a facet of aging that triggers emotional growth that I wish had occurred during my teen-age years. I don’t know.

I embrace the woman who wrote those words and she embraces me. I’ve only met her, face-to-face, three times; twice during vacation trips to New York City and once on a train from Boston to Aurora, Illinois for a funeral service for my brother-in-law.  But her words stay with me as perpetual reminders that words and memories matter. I suspect that her post about her brother’s death just exposed in me an emotional fault that, like an earthquake fault, expands with impossible speed at the slightest provocation.

Maybe I should not be so willing to share this disjointed memory and what it may or may not mean. But I’m doing it. Life it too short to tiptoe around. Life is too short to hide emotions that everyone feels but is afraid to admit. I’ll read this in the morning and, in all probability, delete this because I am saying too much and revealing too much about my weaker, “feminine” side. But maybe not. Maybe I am stronger than I think. By the way, people who say “feminine” conveys weakness piss me off; makes me want to break their effing arms. Just to mention.

 

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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