on being stirred by words


I was reminded tonight on the power held in words. Sometimes not even held in the meaning, just in the sound and the texture. Crisp and then around the bend languid, and long. Sometimes not even held in the word but the in-between, in the silence and the breathing and the pulsing rhythm of the connect flowing between listener and speaker.

I was reminded of the power of words to stir and shape, to remind that the stories we live can be told in a myriad of ways. As JP Cooper sang his heart-song in soulful tones which made my eyes squeeze shut and Alysia revelled in crescendoing fullness of all she was born for I felt it deep. And I breathed easy and hard at the same time as I felt the release that can only come from being in the presence of people released into their gifting.

Alysia Harris told me that she has writers block and seasons where the words don’t come. And others where the words are spoken directly into her ears; fully formed sentences; in one sitting. And she said that it’s in the seasons where there is silence at the end of every drudged up line where her craft is honed.

She said that sometimes you are obedient to the song which is given to you and other times you work on it, fine tuning every syllable every breath until you hold something rough hewn but awkwardly beloved. And it’s here that you master your craft and learn its edges – rough here and smooth there.

I’m not sure why I never associated the importance of this discipline and pushing through with words in the way I would with faith, prayer, work, friendships, family….Perhaps it’s when the words don’t flow that we go searching for the springs and learn the techniques for tapping for the trickle which surely come, slow.

I was grateful to be stirred tonight,. To be exposed to the raw and awkward and courage – inherent in us all but often hard to fit into words. I saw words become the melody and the harmony to all of these things, rather than the constricts which dulled them. Such beautiful artistry and gift: the Word – alive and stirring.

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