Words rust in history

‘You have become quiet. You don’t say half as much as you did before. Your words, no longer, confetti.’

Because age brings out the fallacy in words. They’re not as reliable anymore. Words don’t mean what they say. They don’t capture truth, only act as cages for all the wrong meanings.

Words rust in history.

They sit in long winded emails from six years ago. They sit in short cutting-three-word responses. They sit in terrible Facebook messages from people you grew up with. They sit in sincere requests that reveal too much, leave you too bare; your bones open to picking. They sit in awkward apologies for outbursts. They sit in exuberant over-the-top messages that have nothing to do with the person you are. They sit in polite requests and long letters of explanations that never explain anything. They sit in hard moments of anger and remorseful moments of regret. They sit in years and years of emails that strip you too far to the bone.

These words. They let me down. I look at them and am ashamed and even more ashamed of being ashamed of what I once had enough courage to say. Of that person who no longer seems like me. Of that person who thought too much of herself, who thought she knew everything, who thought words could do everything, who believed that these things would always have the same meanings and that meanings were the same for everyone. Who spoke smugly of things she did not know.

Words rust in history.

I tuck them away in folders. Avert my eyes. Pull them out reluctantly each Spring to examine my naivety, my innocence, my goodness, my hope, my sincerity, my stupidity, my mortality and mostly my vulnerability. I examine these words and try to find me, find a sliver of the truth in that moment.

These words they let me down. Warp the truth and rust history.
Point out my smudge on the horizon.

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  1. I've been a quiet reader of your work, but I suppose this prompted me to speak up. Never underestimate the power your words have for others.

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