We write to be heard. To express our ideas, our dreams. To touch lives that we may never meet tangibly but through words we are pilgrims along the same path.
It's easy to get lost amongst all these words. Fat ones, the kind that drip from your lips and run down your chin. Thin ones that crunch when they slip past your teeth. Salty ones, bitter ones, words so sweet they hurt your teeth. Soft words, hard words, words foul and ugly that are spat away and slung to the mud paved stones.
They build up, pile up, forming trees of looming darkness. We trudge onward, spouting words as they come, letting them tumble and crest into hills and valleys, all the while our feet walk blindly on. Until we hit an impasse. Until the wall is so high and the branches so thick around us. Until our feet are sunk in the very same mud we thought we'd washed our hands of.
There's a Place called Belonging and it's where we thought we were going. We used all the right words, the ones we heard others say. We threw out some wrong words, the shocking and the bleak. They made us feel edgy, hard core and refined. What about the sweet words? The ones everyone wanted to hear? Those counted for something, right? Right?!?
In desperation we claw at the wall, telling it to move, yelling at it in shrill tones that would crack glass and shatter the sugar coating we thought surrounded our dreams. There is not toe hold, no finger gap to cling to. What now? What then? Panting we sit, our knuckles are bleeding, our eyes swollen from crying. All that remains is the path down which we've already walked.
Go back? Nonsense! I've come this far! If I turn around I'll only go backwards. Backwards goes back to where I started from. I don't want to go back there. It's where I don't belong.
Perhaps not. But the wall, can you get by it? Can you get around it? Turn around, brave soul and seek out the path you passed. As words were flying unchecked from your lips, your fingers, your pencils you scattered it's faint footfalls and shadowed it's doorway.
Think now. Where did you taste that fruit? The one that was like nothing, like nothing you've had before? Only once, maybe twice, when the words came you knew. You KNEW your voice embodied them and you held them so briefly, cradling them like birds. They trembled and fluttered, wanting freedom and you gave it. They flew away, circling, calling to you, not goodbyes as you thought but a beckoning to follow.
To follow? Yes. The path. You had to go back to find it. You thought you were moving backwards but in truth you were going back to where you belonged. The birds,they nested, perched and waited. Now they sing and are ready to guide you to a Place called Belonging.
"But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man."
~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, pg. 28