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  • Loss For Words

    Dad was always muttering under his breath. At first I thought he might be cursing. I would get up close to him, put my little hands around his neck and hold my face up next to his wiry whiskers. He’d laugh and ask me what I was up to.
    “I’m listening to your other voice,” I would say. He laughed and tousled my long blond hair sending the bangs into my eyes. “Silly girl, that’s my secret language. Would you like to learn it?” 
    I gave an enthusiastic yes to this, and over a period of years from the time I was five to the age of ten we would sit down in the evenings and converse in the secret language.
    At first I learned the words for all of the objects that were around in the living room, but that was only the first couple of weeks. After that I learned all of the action words and the adjectives, and even some words that didn’t have english parallels. It was a deep language and corresponding words like “squareness”, “stupidity” and “violence” were in a category of their own. Not nouns but something different. This secret language had higher dimensions to it. It was more complete, and when we spoke in it—only between ourselves, and never around anyone else—I felt like I could fully explain myself and grew more and more to see my native language as lacking. 
    There were many times when feeling overwhelmed at the sight of immense beauty or intense horror that I was left speechless and without words. But in the back of my mind, in the secret language the words would form complete and coherent sentences fully describing how I felt and decrypting the unspeakable.
    There came that awful day, when my father got the bad news. I was sixteen when he sat me down in the living room. He spoke in the secret language. He told me that he was going to have to go away soon, but that he would not really be gone. 
    Oh, even now since you do not know the higher language, I cannot explain it to you correctly in these words. He was going to have to leave and not leave, because his body was failing and not failing. It was succeeding in ways that people don’t understand. He was fulfilling his destiny and going on to do what he was born to do. 
    I was sad and I was excited. I was both of these things and there is one word for that as well. And that day came that my Dad became the very thing that we spoke of. That was the day he died and was born, the day that I cried and was overjoyed. And my life went on but with great anticipation.
    The day I turned eighteen I was driving out to see my boyfriend in the city, and my mind suddenly felt on fire with electricity. I pulled over to the side of the road and sat as the cars swooshed by so fast that they rocked the car side to side. And then I felt my Dad, he was there, all around me like a static charge. 
    “Hello, daughter. I’ve come to give you a very special birthday gift.”
    “What gift, Dad?”
    “The secret language that you learned is much more than for describing things and talking to me. Words have sounds, and these sounds have forms. These forms are energy and power to change the world around you in all the secret ways that I’ve taught you. Now’s the time to start using it.”
    “How do I use it, Dad?” But he was gone and not gone again. 
    I thought a lot about what my dad had told me. Since he had changed, I only spoke the secret language in my head. It was helpful for soothing my mind when I was weary of the world, but I had not thought to speak it aloud. Now I began to speak.


  • Four Reasons to Write Your Little Heart Out

    You are a writer. You didn’t choose to be one, but rather it was born into you—a spirit as old as dwelled in the storytellers around the first fires. When they wove their imaginations in mysterious and delightful ways, akin to prophets, philosophers, and visionaries. That old fire is inside of you, burning its way out. And if you don’t write it down, it will find another way. Like every force of nature, it will find a way out. So write your little heart out.

    The rest of the world doesn’t get you, and you don’t really belong to it. You’re not one of them and you never will be. You don’t think alike, and they know it. Your speech is strange to their ears, your anecdotes are odd, your propensity toward reflection and solitude confuses them. Your obsession with words is just weird. So write your little heart out.

    Life brings hard times even in the best of them. You’ll get passed over, ignored, hurt, and beaten down. You’ll get sick, tired, and old, and lose your friends and family as they get sick, tired, and old. People will betray you, lie, cheat, and steal from you. You’ll work yourself to the bone in a never ending cycle of work, sleep, eat, and repeat. You’ll be a success at all the things that bring you no joy. And you’re not alone as we all tread out this grind in the world. The people around you will find their ways to cope, throwing themselves into work, exercise, and play. But as for you, you write your little heart out.

    Ever since you were young, even the little things moved you. The joy of sunsets, the emotions of others, the magic of books. Your life is your story, and as it got written down in the memories of your mind you remembered every detail like a treasured book. The successes, the failures, the hurts, and the victories—all written down in the chapters of your life. A river so massive that nothing can stop it. You dwell on the past, and the story that is you because it is story that drives you. So write your little heart out.