Friday, August 25, 2006

I have nothing to say.

I have nothing to say. I can't think of anything to say. That's what I was thinking to myself, moments ago, as I sat looking at an empty screen, waiting for inspiration.

As I sat, I remembered a day, probably in 1971 or so, when I walked into the modest office from which my brother and I ran our fledgling courier company. As I looked around that day, I wondered about my sanity, about whether I would ever be able to make a success of the business, and probably about how I would be able to pay my bills, buy groceries and survive.

There was an old typewriter (remember those!?) on my brother's desk. I noticed that there was paper in the typewriter and that something had been typed on it.

I bent towards the machine and read these words:

"In his office he sat, with his feet in the air. A look of disgust filled his face and spread through the room, filling the cracks in the walls.

"What more was there to say? What more could be said? If you can think of any more to say, then say it!"

Those words have stuck with me through the years. It is not so much what was said or even how the words were presented. It was the depth of frustration and even despair behind the words that struck me. The words were not a challenge to anyone to come and save the day, to fix our problems, it was just a way to purge some of the frustration my brother felt. Instead of burdening someone else with his frustrations, he put them to paper, albeit in somewhat cryptic fashion, and made himself feel better in the process.

Words are powerful things. Expressing oneself, in this blogging medium or elsewhere, whether using crayon, pencil, pen, typewriter or computer, is therapeutic. It matters little who reads what is written, although it is certainly gratifying to have written something someone actually spends a few minutes reading and thinking about. What matters is the transference: squiggly, often random thoughts, transferred to squiggly letters and words on paper, or their equivalent on a computer screen.

That is the way of words.

So, today, I had nothing to say, and now I've said it.

Have a great weekend.


  1. For having nothing to say I think you did a fine job with this line:

    "Words are powerful things. Expressing oneself, in this blogging medium or elsewhere, whether using crayon, pencil, pen, typewriter or computer, is therapeutic."

    I have kept a journal, every year since I was 17, for this very reason. I am fascinated with the blogging experience; while I do restrain myself from deeply personal writing, I do like expressing myself in this medium. I like it even better when I can communicate with others about what's going on in my life or mind.

    When one interacts with people in the real (not cyber) world, one rarely gets beyond superficial matters.

  2. I've discovered your blog via Bellezza's and have enjoyed your words very much. I couldn't agree with you more that expressing oneself through writing is therapeutic. I started blogging last fall, as did my husband, and we both feel a sense of comfort in sharing our words with each other, our families and our friends. The blogs are incredibly personal and heartfelt and some have found them difficult (if not impossible) to read. But that didn't matter to us. In some ways, it was a matter of survival for us. I've moved forward with two new blogs (books and gardening) and enjoy the blogging community and the new friends I have made. As Belleza recently commented on my blog, I wonder what will happen to these cyber-journals fifty years from now? Personally, I plan to print mine out for safe-keeping.

  3. Thanks, folks. And Les, I visited your blogs and cannot tell you how profoundly sad I feel for your loss and for the state of a world in which such things are possible. When I get a few moments, I will add a link to your blog and will visit regularly. Thank you for sharing and for showing us how to be strong in the face of adversity.

  4. Thanks for your kind words, Atavist. I'm not sure about being strong in the face of adversity, but we're doing the best we can.