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On Having No Words

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Image by Bilderjet from Pixabay

When people say "I'm speechless" they're lying.


But really. Sometimes when I've had a busy day, and I'm tired, I have no English. It's difficult to form a grammatically and syntactically correct sentence. I think because English isn't my first language, it takes quite a lot of effort for me to communicate. On those (mostly) evenings, I usually can express myself in Hebrew, which is my first language and which I find a little bit easier.


But some days, I can't even do that. Some days, my brain has a language-resistant fog that dissolves anything that passes through it. I can't form a coherent thought, let alone a sentence in any kind of language. I don't really know why that happens. It often happens when I'm jet-lagged, but it also happens on other days.


Those days are particularly frustrating for me because I'm a friggin writer. I live by forming sentences. My goal is to put words together into a coherent story that, ideally, would also make people feel and think. That's a damn hard job when you have language. It's nearly impossible when you don't. All of my words are crowding in a circle just outside the spotlight, in the dark, so I can't see them. Can't get a hold of them.


But, on those days, I feel like I'm more emotional. Like the rational, scientific barrier between myself and my emotions is lowered. If anything, I feel more expressive on those days. More me.


Which is even more exasperating, because I want to catch that feeling and put it into words. I want to have that expressiveness in my writing. I want to be able to be emotional in my writing. On those days, I realise how long I still have to go. And sometimes it's despairing. The road looks bleak and endless. And I'm travelling it alone. On those days, all I want to do is climb into bed and stay there.


But I have kids to feed, and guests, and Christmas bake sales to participate in. So I have a good cry and move on. And usually, after a few hours or a good night's sleep, I have my words back so I can put on digital paper a shadow of what it feels like.

 

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