Lips pressed so tightly sealed, eyelids close as emotion yields
Everything slowing to a crawl, vision narrowing down the eternal hall
Wanting to run but legs remain, stuck in quicksand from the rain
Face to face with a godly mirror, reflecting ideas falsely clear
Suddenly now I feel the growl, a voice stifled and becoming foul
Rising up from the darkest place, around my throat with fingers laced
Willing any sound to be heard, trying to shout like a morning bird
Crumbling apart and thought as weak, no matter the effort nothing speaks
How does one find their voice after many years of holding back, willing it to silence because of insecurity or scrutiny? I have made my fair share of mistakes learning how to speak up over the years. It is very difficult finding the right tone when freeing an idea that has been wanting so desperately to emerge. Often, the result is a harsh exclamation…not a good look.
When I wrote the poem “Nothing Speaks” my mind was in deep consideration of this contradiction. When a voice has been silent for an extended period of time, it is unbelievably difficult to change course and exercise a willing openness. The give and take of daily conversation can set off all sorts of alarms. “Is it safe to say what I know to be true?” or “Will people think less of me?” The self-doubt never ceases, and the easiest road is to just keep silent.
It takes great courage to finally speak up, especially for one like myself that prefers to keep most thoughts tightly held. In my rush to seize the moment and speak to an issue I am passionate about, sometimes the words tumble out more assertively than I would like.
In general, my goal is to find the balance between not speaking, as in the poem, and sharing my thoughts openly. Some days I am better at it than others. I have learned that as in all things, balance in conversation is a muscle that must be exercised.