I’ve been looking at photo albums a lot, these past few nights. I’m not sure why I began trawling through the past for images. Perhaps I was looking for growth. Maybe for a little hope that things can be beautiful. Truthfully, it was a hunt for a new vision of what the future can hold.
It was weird then, that instead of celebration, there was a certain ache – a sweetness – like how you savour the last bite of a chocolate bar when your hunger isn’t satisfied. I swirled the memories around in the cavity of my mind, my spirit licking and savouring the moments gone. It’s not that there aren’t more chocolate bars in the world for me to consume. It’s that the one I was enjoying was done… gone… and I was wishing I had taken my time to eat it slowly, instead of rushing through the bites.
Do we do it often enough? I find myself rushing through every little thing I encounter that sometimes, I miss the moment for the minutes that race by. How often then, do I savour the words that I encounter in a day? It’s easy to measure the rush by the work I do, the food I eat, the exercise I complete. But conversations?
Chewing on words. It’s something new I want to inculcate in daily living.
‘I admire the way you take a complex thought and state it simply. It’s like, you can see the connections and are able to make sense of what is chaotic.’ Scooter girl said. We were both alone in the pantry having lunch – a first since we started working together.
‘My very strength is a weakness…’ I said, carefully weighing what I was trying to convey. ‘The ability you see I have is the same reason why I get myself into trouble.’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘If you ever think you can depend on your strength, it becomes the very thing that lets you down,’ I explained. ‘There are so many nights I go to bed worrying if I said the right thing, if I said too much, if I misrepresented someone and worse, if others believed my frail words.’
I couldn’t explain it but I’ve seen how words, once spoken, can’t be retracted. The moment they leave your mouth, you have forever committed them to eternity’s domain and will never be able to absorb them within your frame of hidden thought again. It’s scary.
‘If I could get by without talking, life would be easier, no?’ I asked. Scooter girl nodded.
And then, before the day’s end, I saw for myself how true that was.
A bad report came back to us about our performance. Some of it true, some of it a misrepresentation and some of it… just felt like a betrayal. Honestly, we didn’t know how to think nor feel. I think we were taken aback by the avalanche that smothered us and I left work feeling… suffocated. I’m not angry. Just… puzzled at how words truly have the power to affect the environment.
The very same words though, can effect a change.
How do I want my words to taste tomorrow? What is this world I want to create? Who are the characters I want to meet and how shall I deal with others who want to sprinkle my recipe for the day with their own seasoning?
What do I want to hear?