As I sit here listening to the night noises while waiting for the sun to rise I think of a conversation that just recently transpired. It was with one of my friend. They offer me the balance of perspective I often need, adding insight I miss and even call me out on actions in a thoughtful but realistic manner; all attributes I truly value. We were spent the afternoon laughing and ranting about life, the absurdity of the state of the world when we arrived at a topic my need for clarification. They had so patiently offered clarification earlier in the day on something I was unsure of but other than that thought I really do not recall how we arrived there. We had a great laugh over the fact I was asking for clarification of the clarification, enjoying the humor in the irony.
But it has left me thinking about all the places where I seem to stumble. Communication is something I always struggled and strive to improve, both what is expressed and received. I often struggle with the subtleties, those nuances between the words and far prefer face to face conversations over electronic ones, at least there I can try to grasp through expressions and body language while even asking when I miss the intent. I have come to realize I also stumble with my words, often getting things caught in some filter of emotion and often feel like a fumbling buffoon. I do so much better writing my thoughts often wondering if others are the same.
I think what I find most disconcerting as of late are all the things unsaid. I was again remind of this as I was driving earlier. I found myself behind a slew of police vehicles, realizing they had just left the service for an officer lost in the line of duty. As I was thinking of the family’s loss, the loss to his friends, coworkers, all the things left undone, left unsaid I found my thoughts drifting to a friend I lost almost two years ago, a mother of my daughter’s best friend. There has not been an event pass since then that I haven’t considered the importance of embracing the now. How many moments pass where there would have been words, laughter, tears, and hugs; now there is just a void.
I think of all the things I have not said. All the words I have quelled for a variety of good intentions now have the weight of a boulder tethered to my soul. I think of learning against the door-frame talking and the things I had wanted to say, those words left in the dark recesses of my heart. Is that the right thing to do? If I were to leave before the sun rose again would there be any knowledge of or regret over the unsaid, for myself and those who never heard the words? How do I clarify the want and need to communicate what lies within? Is there an understanding of the actions that imply the words left unspoken? Are others the same, carrying unspoken words I will never know? What do they wish they had said?
“Just because something is unspoken doesn’t mean that it disappears.” ― Alice Hoffman