I Hear Voices

Maya Angelou wrote:

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

When I was a child I used to love reading in my bed at night while my parents sat with their guests in the adjacent room chatting. The sounds, the noise coming from the living room, their voices would somehow make me feel protected and give me this feeling of peace and safety. I would lose myself in the story I would be reading, knowing that all was well with the world outside of my room. 

But during my teen years, when the civil war started in the country, everything changed. Especially during my university years. I was away from home and stayed in the dorms so when at the end of the day I closed my eyes to go to sleep I still heard noises. But they were not as calming as my parents’ voices. The noises I heard were of gunshots and mortars, of people screaming with fear and the sound of footsteps scurrying for shelter. Lying in bed with my book I tried to shun away all the noise coming from outside, and in my mind I tried to hear the familiar voices of my parents.

Decades later I still hear voices even though the house is dead quiet during the day. I hear them all the time. I hear them when I am in my room staring at the walls. I hear them when I close my eyes. I hear them even in my sleep. The voices of loved ones whom I miss so very much. 

If you’re thinking I am crazy, I can assure you I am not. I believe I am as sane as any other normal human being. But instead of losing myself in others’ stories I rush to my notebook to write my own.  

Yes I am a writer! That’s why here I am at sitting at my desk and staring at the walls of my room, trying to come up with something good to say. In the middle of the night the voices are there and I know what to say or write. To quote Saul Bellow:

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”

In my subconscious I was writing but this morning the voices are not speaking to me. The room is quiet and I feel like my brain is dead and I have said everything I have to say. It’s the same ritual I go through every time I think of what to write. 

There are so many good bloggers out there that in order to be among them I have to come up with something new, something original, or a new approach, a new way of saying things. There has to be something different in my article, some kind of sparkle that will make the reader want to read it. 

If you ask me what I mean by sparkle I would honestly reply that I don’t know what exactly a sparkle is, but I certainly know it when I see it. I have all these ideas and thoughts that I want to write about. Instead here I am at my desk, staring at the blank page, wondering where to start from. 

Stephen King writes:

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” 


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One Response to I Hear Voices

  1. Our personal experiences are reflected in our writing in many ways and not always obvious to our reader. Those ‘voices’ are our sub-conscious fighting to be heard over the day to day noise. If we listen carefully we can expel demons and delight our readers. Stay true to your voices.

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