I am sometimes afraid of my own words.
I don’t know what will be waiting on the other side – or perhaps, even worse, I do.
So I swallow them, letter by letter.
Let them swim around in my mouth, but don’t set them free.
Examine them, circle them, admire them even – for they are probably brave.
Because the thing about who I am, deep inside – oh, I know her. I have always known her.
That woman is a wave who will not retreat from the shore.
She is a burning sun, so distant, but I can still feel the heat.
She is a trip on a sled down a snow-laden hill. Gravity won’t allow her to abandon the journey halfway through.
She will be unstoppable – and maybe that’s why I’m scared to start.
There is time,
There is sickness,
There is a boat I fear to rock.
There is loneliness,
There is inescapable love,
There is confusion and doubt.
But under it all is me;
Still growing, still changing,
Still every ounce as authentic as she ever was.
And there is silence.
Not the quiet stillness of rest,
But a silence that screams
I am nothing
And yet that compels me to do it anyway.
Because nothing comes from nothing, and I have so much.
Too much? Perhaps.
But I chisel away at the stone; I shape the future from this heavy gray.
I remove pebbles from my shoes, stopping to look up at the sky as they fall to the concrete.
I take everything that no longer serves me, and I pack it into boxes. I carry the boxes away.
And that fear I have, of my own words, I’ll wrestle it to the ground.
I will open my throat and speak.
The ashes, the pieces, the people will fall where they may.
Because my words are my life,
And this is not how I shall die.
“Will you speak, or will you die?”
– Hannah Paasch, Millenneagram 9: The Wallflower