Fragile and vain


“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons


Have you ever felt the moment pass without having said something that needs to be said, or written something that needs to be written?

It happens to me a lot at the moment. I can’t seem to hold onto them for long enough to give them voice. It has to be instant capture or not at all. Recollection never rises above a twisted image trying too hard to be something it doesn’t really know what is.

Words… inspiration… is a fickle thing, and I am struck by how fragile they can be. How they come out of the fog of everyday life in an instant and flare like lightening across the sky only to shatter and scatter again the next under their sudden awareness of themselves. Like the warmth of the Sun held suspended in ice crystals, doomed to destroy its own reflection.

Afterwards, there is only the sound of absence. The sense of a fleeting shadow that just couldn’t be held onto. Enough of an impression to remember seeing … something… but too faded a fragment to reconstruct and give it the voice it deserves.

Words are fragile. Forever seeking their own expression, the voice that will capture them at exactly the right time. Their interest in an unattentive audience, so useless to them, is fleeting. All too often they fall back into silence and cloak themselves in all the damn crap, we are left to excavate in hopes of finding them again.

Words are vain. They want an audience as much as we do.

Fragile and vain

3 thoughts on “Fragile and vain

  1. As always, your words give me pause. Yes, I have felt that moment pass. And sometimes, there is a sense of frustration at an opportunity missed or failure to convey a message clearly enough to be understood by an other. But I have come to accept that sometimes, it’s because I do not have the words to begin with; the ones that speak most clearly what it is I want to say. And I have come to understand that this too is part of my way of speaking: that sometimes, I need the time to play with the words for myself before they can be shared.

  2. Kathy, thank you so much for what you said! I am so glad (I shouldn’t be, should I?) I am not the only one it happens to. I love you “maybe it’s aupposed to go like that” angle… Maybe it is that fleeting glimpse of something we cannot quite catch that makes us keep listening, looking and trying? Like bread crumbs leading… onwards. Awesome thought! Thank you!

    And thank you for the encouragement to write, too – you always make me feel glad I come back to it, and always make me feel welcome while I’m trying to find my feet again. It’is invaluable – truly. Thank you.

  3. Such a beautiful post. Especially, ‘words are vain. They want an audience as much as we do’.
    It happens to me almost all the time it seems, the moment passes and words that were vital and needed to be said failed to materialise and I always wonder – could it have been any different? Should it have been? Or did the moment pass as it should have?

    I am always in awe of your writing ability and the posts you publish. Never stop, please!

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