I’ve been writing a lot lately.  Not as much as I had hoped, but more than I was expecting to be able to.  I’m attempting to complete the first draft of a book that I am working on, an autobiography of my adventures.  It’s probably the most difficult thing I have ever done.

Words are fickle.  They slip in and out of our thoughts, echoing in our heads, but we (or at least I) cannot seem to grasp them long enough to truly capture their essence.

I found myself writing about my time in Africa today, about my stay with Mercy Ships aboard the M/V Africa Mercy.  It scares me that I cannot seem to dictate the thoughts in my head, to tell my own story.  Every time I look at the words, the feelings, the emotions are not there.  They are only words.

Is that all that we have become:  Words on a page?

Oh, but the stories are all there.  I can spend hours talking about my journey, the path that led me to find a home away from home and a family that extends beyond the edges of these United States, that circumnavigates the world.

I can write it all down and spend hours finding the correct phrases and words, but there will always be something missing.  There will always be a part of me that cannot be captured on the page.

It is the smile.  The laugh.  The sly look that was given.  The stutter as I struggle to find the words.  The sorrow and the tears that are shed in the dark of night when the memories come back to haunt us again and again and again.

Oh, words can be quite powerful.  I’ve been told that I know how to use them well, to convince others to feel some emotion.  But those words can be difficult to find at times.

It’s like a relationship.  You give and you take.  Compromise.  And in the end there is something on the page that you yourself could have never fully written because you never knew that those words existed in your heart.

And you learn to love them.  To embrace them like a child.  Protecting them from your edits and the eyes of those who you feel would rip them apart.  But in the end, you let them out into the world to fly.  And people rant and rave and make a fuss, but you know that there is and will always be something missing.

So we smile.  And hide behind the mask of words created as our shield and our armor, our story that binds us to one another.

At this point, I know I’m ranting (and quite possibly raving), but I’m just trying to speak the truth…


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