I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I can divide people into two groups. People of words and everyone else.
For me, I am a person of words. What you say means something to me. The phraseology, the inflections, the delicate choice of words. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge anyone. I just find meaning in all the nuances of words. I love the language of vocality. I love to watch a person’s eyes when they speak. The tenor of a particular voice is engrained in the mind forever. I can close my eyes and remember my mom’s raucous laugh, my dad’s bass voice in the quartet at church, and I can still hear the sound of my grandmother singing ‘There Will be Peace in the Valley’ as she moved through the kitchen. I have missed Rosie’s voice so much this week but I take comfort in remembering the sparkle in her voice. I have one message from her on my answering machine. Sometimes, for comfort, I back through the messages and play it just to hear her voice.
The written word to me is just as beautiful. A person who loves words and puts them to work on paper paints such beautiful scenery. I treasure these precious words as a rare gift and hold them close to me. I love to write. I’m not always prepared to write. It’s okay though because at times like those, unprepared and vulnerable, your heart pours onto the page. I feel through my writing. I languish thinking of all the poets who live on through the intensity of their words.
Some people are encumbered and frightened by words. Indeed, words are long-lasting. I was recently reminded of that distinct possibility as I read through words I had written some 30 odd years ago. It hurt to hear what I felt at that time and realize how wrong I was about my situation. But in the end, it was all honest and it came from a special place inside of me. I wish people wrote more. I miss the exchange of letters. It is a beautiful sharing that can be cherished again and again.
Rosie’s granddaughter wrote me a letter a week or so after the funeral. That letter brought me such joy I cannot tell you. It was the simplicity of the voice of a child. A child who I know lost her precious Teedle. Her short letter reminded me more of the value of this life we lead that most anything I have encountered these last few weeks. She inspired me to sit down with pen in hand and write some letters to people I haven’t corresponded with in a while. As a result, I reconnected with my dear friend Gen and my heart is aglow just knowing the joy our exchange of words will bring me.
Not everyone in my life is a person of words. I respect that. You have gifts too numerous to mention. I hope that my gift is one of words even though I’ve been told I do tend to go on and on and on…….Ha! The gift that keeps on giving.
I remember my grandmother helping me write a story about where I lived as a child. I was so upset with her because she suggested as the last line of my story to say….’here amongst the trees and the mountains you will find my humble abode.’ Funny, I never forgot the word abode and now it rings of magic each and every time I hear it. Thanks, Mam-Maw. It took me years to realize the gift you gave me.