Let the Words Out; On Finding My Voice in a New Place

I want to let the words out.

My hands tremble above the black and white keys,
My tongue seems tethered tight within my mouth,
Fast and furious, my thoughts are tangled - snarled up together - don't make sense even to me.
Especially to me. 

I want to let the words out.

I can slip through life without anyone taking much notice.
And that's a real relief.
But then, sometimes, I think, isn't life meant to be shared?
And then the other question; but how to begin?
How do I evade the restraints that keep me inarticulate?
How do I find phrases to explain the vastness of things I barely understand?

I want to let the words out.

But, while we're being honest here, I'll admit that I'm afraid.
I'm afraid of being too dramatic.
Too loud.
Too happy.
Too sad.
I'm afraid of embarrassing you with my tears.
Or my frankness.
Or the fact that I usually don't know what's going on inside my head,
'Til it's all out there in shocking black and white.

Truth is: I don't get me, either,
And the world's a strange, big place,
And I'm trying to figure out
How to do the things that used to come so easily.
The old words stopped working
And the new ones are very new
And sometimes seem a bit illogical...
Kind-of like life, you know?

I want to let the words out
If only to an audience of one,
To stretch across some miles or culture gaps,
To look into a face and know that I'm understood.
I'd never ask someone else to fix my problems,
Just to be okay with their existence.
Just to sit quietly with me as I blurt and struggle
And try to make sense of it all.

I want to let the words out.

I want to share my experiences without fear of judgement or of doubt.
I want another to laugh at my misadventures 'til both our sides are aching.
I don't seek anyone's pity,
But I would like to tell of the wrenching and the leaving and the loneliness
And the lurking fear of, how will it all end?

I'd like to spin a story of endings and beginnings,
Funerals and weddings,
Of rainy days and sweltering nights,
Of betrayal and trust and the uncertain shifting of my little world,
And the beauty found in all the unexpected places.
I can't do it perfectly...can't even do it well...
But I want to let the words out.

I'd like to expand and expound upon my unreasoning love
For a hot, dusty, challenging place
Without the fear of sounding foolish and naive
(Though I probably am both).

I want to let the words out
Without being paralyzed by questions:
How do they sound?
How will I now be judged?
Without fretting endlessly about who's listening and why,
I want to simply let the words out.

I want to tell someone of the joys of letting go:
The laying down of rights and preferences,
The security of having family close by,
Of having friends who speak and look and think like me,
Of the luxurious anonymity of being nothing more
Than just a nameless face within the crowd.

Without risk of sounding holier than thou,
I want to talk of being crucified with Christ
Of walking, open-eyed, into a place of pain
And staying there until the thorns become a victory.
I want to speak, in simple, honest words,
Of how much I've lost
And how much more I've been given.

I lie awake of nights and ask myself,
What's stopping me?
And the answer, always, is the fear.
Fear of being misunderstood, of never finding just the perfect words,
It binds my hands and muzzles me, leaves me muted in another's presence,
Mumbling hackneyed pleasantries.
Filling the space with sounds that mean nothing at all.

I want to let the words out.
My very soul trembles with the urgency, the need.
Unbearable, this isolation.
Life is short, I think, it's time to take a risk.
I gather all my courage up in shaking hands
And spill a couple sentences across a page,
A couple thoughts into an awkward silence.
I think, if others did it, I can, too.
And so I pray for the courage to begin,
Take a breath, and take the plunge
Into the overwhelming waves of explanation.

I want to let the words out.

They're clamoring to be freed,
Like live things, tumbling clumsily from my racing fingers, thoughts on a computer screen,
Spilling from my mouth in an unsophisticated torrent, the pent-up phrases to be declared at last,
Scribing the rough shapes of new expressions, charting this new world.

I'm going to let the words out;
A resolve.

My tongue stumbles over new sounds,
Making a grammatical mess, just trying to give a voice to the surge of emotions that swell at the back of my throat.
My fingers ache from the fierce gripping of a pen,
My cheeks flame over the memory of mis-spoken words, mis-spelled lines.

But I'm going to try and try again;
The only thing I know to do
Is just to let the words out,


  1. Oh sing it Sister...
    For a person of words, a new language must be a piercing kind of suffering. There is an unknown tongue that sometimes brings a release of some portion of that anguish...and often leads to words from Father's heart pouring out a torrent of His passion that is underneath in the groaning. Sometimes we speak for an audience of One. Sometimes He draws us to give voice, as He spoke in Creation, to speak something that we do not understand, into existence. I hear your longing not only to speak but to be understood. A lonely place indeed. Your words... I think that I get it. I'm thinking of the wise man at the health food store who challenged me one struggling day with "Until you can sit (like Moses) on the backside of the desert, with the burning in your soul, and know that Jesus is enuf, you don't know rest." May you be blessed to sink into His enoughness. And Let the Words Out.

    1. I really like that bit about Moses. Putting words to my experiences is something that I've prayed over a good bit, and I feel like, after two years, I'm finally getting some idea of how to do it. The first step is, I think, putting aside my fear of not doing it properly and simply telling As Good A Story As I Can. Not being able to communicate fully is agonizing, but even more so is the fear that holds me back from putting all my effort into the try, try again that is my daily life. But, step by step, I'm getting to the place where I can eyeball the task and think, 'hey! Maybe there's a way to do this.'


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