The Words

“Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.”

–Markus Zusak, The Book Thief (p. 80)

I have some amazing friends.  Truly loyal friends.  Hilarious, intelligent, call-in-a-crisis friends.  Friends in Massachusetts, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Austin, TX…

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get lonely.

In fact, there are times when I hit dark patches, and even my oldest, dearest, best friends can’t pull me back out into the light.

So as lucky as I am to have these friends, and as grateful as I am for them, I feel lucky as well to have words.

Because my pen and my journals saw me through years of adolescent angst.  Dog-eared pages in my favorite books (and even my not-favorites, at times) talked me through college homesickness.  Now my laptop is getting me through…well, life.

Words are my lifeline.  They’re my friends when no one is around, or when I can’t face even the people who know me best.  They’re the best therapy that I know of. 

The quote under my senior picture in my high school yearbook is by Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls:

“Would you trade your words for freedom?  That’s the barter for a blind man.”

(This is also the quote below my email signature now, twelve years later.)

And of course the answer to Amy’s question is, unequivocally, no.  It goes without saying that I never would be free–much less happy, or comforted, or fulfilled–without my words.

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