When I Cannot Speak

When I cannot speak I write. 

Though, often, I am not sure what I write.

Sometimes I write letters, as if talking to an old friend who understands every intention and love tucked inside my chest. I write as if they could respond. As if they hear me. I tell of the dumb, strange thing I said earlier, and I beg for their forgiveness. I write of the rambunctious laughter and the inside jokes my other friends and I shared. The moments tucked inside shameful or sweet or silly heartbeats and between classes and structured moments. Spontaneous moments and sad moments. I tell my page-friend all about them. 

Other times, I write as if I am trying to speak the name of a star, one by one. As if I am trying to show someone a whole galaxy one teaspoonfull at a time. As if I was writing a story for clouds or daybreak or the inexplicable colour of rhythm. Occasionally it comes out in colours, those times are my favorites, when colour becomes words and ancient melodies become paintings of mountains and skies and old, old libraries in someone’s mind.
Poetry is so much more than they said it was. 

Then there are the times I write of other worlds. Of ancient kingdoms and strange islands. Of girls who can summon light and ones who sleep inbetwixt pipes of a pirate ship. Little snippets of other lives and people I can bring into this one. I write of things I want to understand, and of characters who know the things I know and I wonder if others notice about me. 

And when I cannot speak I draw. 

Perhaps it’s small things, like a detail on a phone case, or a pattern on a skirt, or a necklace on a girl. Maybe it’s an eyecolour that says all the things I cannot say aloud. I let my unfinished pictures scream the things I do not dare say in colours I do not dare bring from my mind. A striped jacket, a little paint pallet, maybe a comic book or a cube-charm bracelet. Silent thoughts that words just cannot be spoken about. 

And most of all, when I cannot speak, I sing. 

I sing songs out of my range, and those in. Songs old and just discovered. Songs about new life and ones about fractures and ones about plant life and waves. In the shower I sing of mischievous cats, and when making peanut butter sandwiches about holding the universe. When I clean the pool it’s songs about going there and back again, and when I am tucked away in a closet to organize, it’s ones about being called by something wild and wonderful to adventures beyond my wildest imaginations.

And when I cannot sing, I hum. I hum songs about sad things, about loss, and then about discovery and strength. Goofy fourth-wall breaking ones and ones about my own passions. I hum what I do not know the words yet to, or are rather strange to sing in public, like ones about the galaxy and it’s endless abyss. Sometimes I hum ones too far gone to be recognizable (who really understands why the wind begins to suck or why I prefer the watermelons gradually?). Sometimes a few murmurs escape and I decide show tunes before going out are no longer allowed. (why are they all so catchy?)

I hum because I cannot sing, and I sing because I cannot speak. I draw because lines won’t form words and I write because words cannot escape anywhere but from my fingers. 

For when words fail, worlds speak.

 

~Of Rainy Days 

 

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