It is easy to hide behind this screen.
It is easy to sit and contemplate, to craft my words with care and attention and to carefully decide how much of me, of my heart, you get to see. How far to peel back the curtain.
Doing that in person is a different thing altogether.
I believe in the power of story. I believe that it is strong enough to shape us and transform us. I know that is true because I’ve watched stories change me, and because of that I will never stop writing or photographing stories.
But stories fail us when they’re only ever veiled.
“There is something about witnessing an individual’s search for the right phrases, looking into their eyes, shaking hands, or hugging shoulders that makes our stories come alive in a way that is overwhelmingly real and unforgettable.”
[Alyce Youngblood - TWLOHA]
I can turn a phrase on paper, but in person I get tongue-tied and trip all over my words. Countless silent nights and teary phone calls with friends only prove how difficult it is to wrap words around the human experience.
Despite this, we must try.
We must be brave. We must find someone to share our story with, with courage and determination. We must find people to fight for us, to fight for our stories when we can’t. We must fumble and mumble and say all the wrong things, until anger and frustration and fear run out and give way to hope.
“I will always write. I will always read. Yet, in the end, it wasn’t the blinking screen or the paper and ink stories that I will most remember about these past few years. What I will remember — what saved me, transformed me, and got me through — were the hours on my couch with friends, the countless coffee dates, the hugs and smiles, the prayers and tears.”
[Roxanne Wieman - TWLOHA]
May you have someone to say all the wrong things to.