Monday, December 9, 2013

Finding My Voice When There’s Nothing to Say

“I’ve lost my voice.”  “You haven’t lost your voice,” my friend says in response.  “You just don’t have anything to say.”  

Could this be true?  In today’s disconnected world, is it possible that I have not a word to speak out against the various assortment of struggle, injustice and fear, or even an utterance to recognize the abundance of miracles that bring healing and reconnection on a daily basis?  Is it conceivable that I, a woman who has never wanted for opinion, have no position to take on any of the controversial debates that plague our political and religious arenas, or the many commonalities where we may find agreement? I wonder, as I pray to God for guidance in serving my purpose, is the function he has for me a quiet one?  And if so, how will I, again, always the verbal communicator, fulfill that role successfully?  

It is a while since I spoke my piece - on anything.  Words do not come easily, neither in public nor private.  With friends and business associates alike, I sit awkwardly waiting for a spark of interest to light in me so that I may join in the conversation - a spark that rarely comes.  When I am expected to speak, or I am asked to defend a position, I find the simplest of articulation difficult.  I stutter through responses, and then berate myself later for the lack of clarity and surety with which I handled the situation. 

I try pen and paper. Yet, my futile attempts only result in illegible scrawling and a sore right hand. I purchase and install a dictation software. Yet, my laptops (yes, that would be plural) continually freeze up on me, as if saying “Don’t bother.” 

While seeking inspiration in a local bookstore, I find a mandala coloring book.  According to the author, and to my online Mirriam-Webster encyclopedia, the mandala, or circular diagram, is used by Buddhists as a meditation tool.  My sources promise that “by mentally entering the mandala and moving toward its centre” I will find clarity, focus and a sense of unity and connection with the universe. I am skeptical, yet drawn in by the name mandala.  Is it not the journal named for this very symbol where I first stepped out of my fear, and spoke words of authenticity and passion? Could it be that a coloring book could hold so much hope?

In reading past writings, I recall my emotions - of passion and enthusiasm and of grief and anger - that moved me to the words.  There is power in these emotions of extreme.  I believe the emotions in between are those that Dr. Seuss spoke of in his book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”  

The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting. 

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

While I am willing to concede to the plausibility that God has a more subdued plan for me, I suspect that he created me with the gift of gab for a purpose, and that my voice, as well as the function for that voice, will return to me in divine order.  Again, in the words of Dr. Seuss:

NO! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape

all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner fip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

So, for now, I vacillate between boredom and contentment.  In the spirit of Dr. Seuss, I embrace my inner child, coloring the spaces of the mandala with the markers I purchased from Hobby Lobby (and attempting not to critic my choice of colors or inability to stay within the lines).  I release that which no longer serves me - including those old laptops!  And I practice sitting perfectly quiet, listening to the words of my heart, until I find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing and have something more to say.