Monday, September 13, 2010

The words get in the way...

As far as days go, today was a tossup. While I heard of news that definitely leads me to believe that prayers are answered, in other ways, my day was a rough one.

The common denominator of the good and bad: words.

Words that can help smooth over rough spots, create uncomfortable silences, give great joy, announce devastating news.

Today, three simple words lifted a great burden of worry this morning. Other words brought information regarding the Turkish bath otherwise known as my classroom.

Words spoken and exchanged...Phrases, commands, statements, exclamations, questions...Swirling, finding meaning in some, being lost on others.

Words changing depending on the audience, their purpose refocused as determined by the occasion. Words made to fit into small silences, time constraints.

And at times, we are at a loss. For all the words that exist at our disposal, none seem to fit the bill. Sometimes, our hearts, our eyes, speak volumes when our mouths cannot form sounds that resemble the form of communication that so often fails us. Because our hearts and souls cannot be held by such limitations that words, by their very nature, are bound by.

Sometimes, our words find their mark. Their meaning is interpreted as they were said, as they were meant. Other times, we are not as fortunate. Our words miss their mark. The meaning twisted, misunderstood. The message; lost.

This occurs quite often in teaching. However well you think you explained something, the blanks faces of your students quite plainly tell you that it has flown over their heads, no information received.

Other times, our words hurt others, however their well meaning prose was constructed. And while medical science has made many miracles, one does not exist for peering into the hearts of others.

Perhaps, tomorrow, I will have the marksmanship of William Tell. My words will be as true and sure as his steadfast arrow. They will find the way to be the right words, the words I intend them to be.

And hopefully, they will not get in the way of their message. My heart will find the words my brain cannot know yet.


  1. Maria, I felt like this the very short time period I taught at a community college (one whole semester!) Blank staring faces. Would my words ever be able to convey this well enough? This is why I always think in person learning is better than on line: you can see those blank faces and teach it a different way, not just move onto the next assignment regardless.

  2. When your loved ones know you, they know that even when the words are misunderstood, they are well meant.

  3. "My heart will find the words that my brain cannot yet know." Beautiful quote! Wonderful post.

    I will enjoy reading more of your blogs. I am a mom of three and a teacher as well.


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