Photography Writing

When I Use Up All the Words

When I use up all the words, I take a walk outside. Barefoot, because it’s summer, the dewy grass feels slick. I break the rules and step into my flower bed, the smooth rocks cool on the bottoms of my feet. I bend and crouch and reach for the few weeds that have popped up between the colorful flowers. My fingertips plunge into the cool earth, dirt wedging itself under my fingernails and my skin.


The smell of Earth and air, the feeling of dirt, the silence of our yard… they all make up for the lack of words I feel after using them all and then some. I feel empty, gutted, after an extraordinary word vomit, a sharing of soul and heart and humanness and otherness. To touch and feel and smell and even taste the tangible brings me back down to Earth, to myself, out of the clouds of self-doubt and anxiety of being and doing.


I snap a picture and let the camera dangle from the strap around my neck as I simply stare at the flowers I’ve grown this year — despite myself. They grew and flourished even though my time was often spent elsewhere; oh, I nourished them a little bit here and there, but I didn’t tend to them as I could have, as I should have…


Still they grew. I sat down on the edge of the flower bed, the damp grass soaking through my green skirt, and found myself lost in thought about flowers and words, about nature and nurture, about story and fear. I sat, content in the cool of the morning and the lack of answers for the questions in my heart.


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