Words Fail Us, But We Need Them Anyway

An age ago, when I was a teen, I wrote a poem.* An ode to the frailty of words. Stanzas dedicated to our lines of communication. And miscommunication.

A knowing look at how words are seen.

We hear what we want to hear and see what we want to see.

Butterfly Resonance Image: Macro photo of smoke tree bloom light by bright sun against blue sky, with the message to Release Your Words.Every word is a powerful reminder of our own stories, our own experiences, our own hearts.

Every word fails to truly evoke the writer’s true meaning.

For how can we ever know the true heart of another? (We barely know our own hearts!)

They are unavoidable, these misunderstandings.

Words, like all art, belong to the reader, to the viewer.

Once released to the world, our words take on a life of their own in the hearts of those who receive them.

As a person who uses words to share concepts that defy explanation, that flow with the energy of butterflies, the idea that they will never be fully understood is both horrifying and freeing.

Horrifying to imagine that my words may be taken in ways I had never intended. Yet freeing to realize that, as long as my words are sent with love on butterfly wings, how they are received is out of my control.

Butterfly Resonance Image: Macro photo of green lily bud, ready to open calling us to Awaken.It matters not the words I choose – if I am writing from my heart, they will be misinterpreted by someone.

And they will be loved by someone.

My words may even connect so deeply to someone’s heart as to break it open to awaken the Divine.

With awakening the Divine as a possibility, I’m willing to take the risk.

As I write my words, I will always hope that not many people will despise them, but I know there will be someone. And I may be surprised by who it is.

I will always hope that light and beauty and wonder outweigh any misunderstanding, tipping the scales on the side of doing good.

And perhaps you will accept that my words are fallible and I do my best to let the Universe speak through me. And that this might sometimes fall short of your expectations.

And I hope you’ll like me anyway.

*I would have loved to report that the poem has been lost, but that would be untruthful. It is just the poorly written musings of a teenager and not worth sharing.

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One Response to Words Fail Us, But We Need Them Anyway

  1. Daniel Brenton October 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Teresa —

    This immediately made me think of a line out of A Course in Miracles — which I cannot find — about words being shadows without substance. However, Theodore Drieser’s words will do: “Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.”

    Several times I’ve gotten into semantic online arguments by wannabe Buddhists or Zen adherents that seemed to have no intention beyond stroking their own egos by proving me wrong, which means these particular individuals are holding their “understandings of truth” as more important than actually connecting.

    (Not to pick on Buddhists or Zen students in particular — I’ve met my share of Christians who do pretty much the same thing.)

    Either way, #FAIL.

    — Daniel

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