Sunday, December 16, 2007

Words Per Day

When I was a guest at Hotel Hope, I met another inmate. . . er, guest. . . who was about to undergo an auto stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma. She was desperate for conversation and often came to my room for a chat.

One of the things she said on her first visit has really stuck with me. "We all have so many words per day that we need to get out." I was happy that I could be there as a listening board for her many words that were waiting to spill.

I think the number of words per day varies from person to person. George's mom was a delightful non-stop talker up until her last day. I don't think she ever managed to meet her daily quota of words.

My dad, on the other hand, has little to say; he's quiet to the point of being taciturn. Every once in a while on one of my visits to West Virginia, he talks non-stop for long stretches of time. During these talking jags, I think, "So many stories, so many thoughts needed to be shared." I've always been grateful that I've been in West Virginia to hear them. (Susan K. would no doubt advise me to have a tape recorder ready next time.)

When I think of my new CoH friend and my dad, I'm reminded that it's not enough to simply get the words out, whether it's on the phone, in person, on paper or electronically. What's important is to know that the words are being heard.

I've had a lot to say over the course of the last year. Paula once said to me, "Writers write for one reason and one reason only: they need to. They need to do it for money or they need to do it as a way of expression." I have been an example of someone with a serious NEED to write. I'm just now realizing that one of those reasons was the need to be heard.

And, in spite of my recent post about transitioning to the food blog, I still have a need to get out a lot more words per day. I'm crying right now as I'm typing this because I'm so grateful to all of you for giving me this powerful and healing gift of reading and hearing my words.

Thank you.

14 comments:

Paula L. Johnson said...

Smooky...I'm getting a little verklempt over here!

Susan Carrier said...

Ah, shucks, Paula. (I had to go to the Urban Dictionary to find out that Paula was getting choked up.)

Piper Robert said...

Wow.......I want to thank you little Sis. I did all my verklempting 11 months ago. Now I'm in Hallelujah mode. Love ya!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank YOU for posting so we can all walk through this with you on some level. We enjoy "hearing" you and being able to join in the conversation.

Tara in VA

Anonymous said...

The verklemp series (coffee talk on SNL) started in 1991. It was one of my favorite sketches. As a surprise, one episode, Barbara Streisand came on as a surprise. It was one of the funniest ones I've seen. Paula, thanks for reminding me of a 16 year old memory!

Tara in Va

Anonymous said...

Okay, so my kids saw me blogging and this sparked a 10 minute lesson on what a blog is. I asked if they had anything to say, and they responded in kind:

Nathan: I wish we can come back there to see you. And Merry Christmas.

Emily:I wish you feel better from your cancer. And Merry Christmas.

There you have it. Directly from the kids. Thinking of you. Tara

janet aird said...

Susan - It does go both ways. You're one of the best people I know for really hearing other people, too.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Ah yes, the healing power of blogging. Thanks for putting your words out there for us to read!

Lisa C. said...

Hey Susan, I think we all got quite a lot out of reading your blogs - so it goes both ways:)

Lisa C.

Lilli said...

The beautiful thing about sharing you stories -- getting all you words out -- is that it frees other people to do the same. Thanks for sharing your words with us, and the world.

Mathews Family said...

I think it's been a blessing to all of us to be able to read about thoughts and your life over the past year. Thank YOU for your writings and most of all sharing your heart.

Love you.

Ps. I couldn't resist! I love Coffee Talk! For a good laugh...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=xKLqMhvIoEg

Anonymous said...

Yes, we need to write. We need to be heard. We need to create. It's such a joy. One of my favorite lines is from William Zinsser (sp?) " I hate writing. I love having written." I, however, love both. I'm glad you have the time and attention to listen, see, hear and reflect it all back on the page, or uh, screen...:)

Susan Carrier said...

Tara and Emily, I had completely forgotten about the SNL Coffee Talk sketch. Thanks for the link, Emily. Absolutely hilarious.

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