I have been dreaming about conversations I want to have but which I end up delaying for the next day. I lay in my bed, exhausted after seven hours of Zoom meetings. At the brink of sleep, the thought suddenly comes: “Another day, and so many things left unsaid”. I can almost feel the childish dread mixing with the afternoon languor, and then I am gone.
Communication is hard. Like, super hard. When I accomplish it I feel a wave of satisfaction which runs from the tip of my head and all along the end of the sentence. During some blissful minutes the telephone line is clear, no stone has been left unturned and no need unattended. Life is good.
I believe that this fascination was one of the many things that convinced me to study Literature. That is, this constant questioning about how the things we say have shaped our reality and identities. They are the sort of questions that drive an author to write and the sort of harsh musings that usually stop them from rereading their own work. Most of the time we all battle the nagging sensation that we have said either too much or too little.
Who am I before and after I speak? Do I label and construct with words to a point where I confine myself to an image? How do I restrict others?
This love-hate relationship with language has everything to do with the power of words. It lives inside our heads and promises to be tamed through patience, love, endurance, passion and sacrifice. Just a little control over it is enough to incite a strange impulse on me. I wish to convey my thoughts fully, and transmit the emotion inside of me with just the right phrase. No small thing left unsaid. I jump at the opportunity without being ready, and I usually drown, messing with people through this weird dance of meaning.
I can see now that I started writing this yesterday to justify myself, and now I just want to say I am sorry. I raise an olive branch to those I have hurt through words. To loved ones who I have struck with my stumbling and imprecise ramblings, without thinking first about their feelings and not my own impulses. Even to myself, I ask her to be at peace and trust other things besides words. To find love somewhere else, especially in the magic of someone else’s prose.
And to Language itself, who I fearfully respect and not that secretly wish to dominate. Maybe one day we will lay together in silence, and ask nothing of one another but a quiet flow of delicate, well constructed thoughts. Maybe the only thing that can tame Language is that unspeakable closeness to the prime fabric of Life, which precedes all words, all image, all senses.