Did you ever have feelings you wanted to express, but you couldn’t seem to find the right words? You try to write, but you find yourself staring at that empty white page, and have no idea know how to fill it. You don’t even know where to begin. Millions of words to choose from and not a single one seems to fit what your heart is longing to say.
Many circumstances can bring about such a dilemma. These indescribable emotions can range from being overwhelmed by joy to being overcome by grief. Lately, I find myself in this situation all too often. Words—the tools of my trade—fail me frequently on a personal level. Worse, these times are entangled together, leaving me not only without words, but without even a clear direction to turn. I find myself not simply at a loss for words—but emotionally lost as well, in the dark with no map to follow.
On one hand, I have recently experienced the greatest personal joy I have ever known. I have found the other half of myself. From out of the past has come a man who loves me more than I ever believed possible, and I find myself feeling emotions for which I was totally unprepared. When we are together, I am constantly amazed at how much he cares; at what he is willing to do to be with me, even for a few short hours. I stumble over the words when I try to tell him how happy I am just to be near him; just to be close enough to put my head on his shoulder or feel his arms around me.
When we are apart, I feel as if my life waits; as if I won’t breathe again until we are back together. There are times when I tell him “I love you,” and it feels far too small and common to even touch the edge of what I really mean. It feels to me that it comes no closer to explaining how I feel than a drop of rain comes close to filling the ocean. It would take so many billions of drops to tell him how much my heart aches to be with him every day.
On the other hand, there is also a sorrow I cannot express, for a woman I’ve never even met. She has found herself, at only 5 years older than me, suddenly facing the harsh reality of being mortal. The future she has worked so hard toward all her adult life is no longer guaranteed. Although I don’t know her, I know people who love her; I love people who love her; my heart breaks for her and for them. And I have no words to tell them how desperately I wish I could change it; how I wish I could make it not be so.
Maybe this is where the musicians and artists have an advantage over the rest of us. They have another language to use to describe feelings that can’t be put into words. I can’t write music that can move someone to tears. I can’t paint a picture that will take anyone away to another time and place. All I have are words, and far fewer of those than the task would seem to require.
I only hope that in some small way, this will touch someone’s heart, and they will understand the depths of what I can never adequately express.