After having read a piece that I wrote, a friend of mine said, "I recognize your voice in this story." At the time I wasn't certain if the remark was meant as something good or something bad. Eventually, I learned my voice is indeed a good thing. It's a part of who I am. I can only say...the words come from my heart. They dance with joy or wince with sorrow.
Sometimes the words inside of me feel like butterflies, as if they've somehow formed soft silky wings that begin to gently massage the walls of my heart. Their persistent stirring only beckons me to reach for a pen and paper no matter what time of day it is. I can hardly wait for each letter to take flight, even when the dark of night blankets the sky and the world outside my window is fast asleep; I feel the words fluttering inside of me and I'm unable to wait until morning to pick up my pen.
As my hand sweeps across the white paper filling what was once nothing but an empty void, a smile accompanies each stroke. Pleasant thoughts escape me. Afterwards, I sit back and gaze at my paper cloaked with ink. The colours of blue, black and even red seem to dance. My world comes alive on the pages before me. My words form stories which allow me to revisit the places I've been. They keep a record of memories made with my family and friends. I can't imagine not writing.
Just like the monarch butterfly with its distinctive pattern and beautiful colours of black, orange and white, each scribble I make is distinctive. The way I form each letter, dot each (i) and cross each (t) are all reflections of me. I've spent more than twenty years penning my thoughts. The patterns are fixed in me.
And yes there are times when my words feel heavy, more like stones anchored inside my heart; less willing to be moved or even stirred. In times like that, I must admit, it's more difficult to smile. Even so, my desire is to write. The thud is almost audible as each word lands on top the pages. But in the end.... what a relief! Their weight no longer pulls me down. All that felt so terribly heart-breaking to me is set free.
There's an indescribable pleasure that comes from writing. An amazing release!
I would encourage anyone to pick up a pen. Write down your hopes and dreams, your joys and sorrows. Write down your worries, memories from your past to the present. Share your stories or keep them to yourself. And through it all, remember to God is beside you the entire time helping find your voice.