Every now and then, you see how beautiful people really are. And if you’re looking for it, it happens more than every now and then.
I’m sitting in Sacrament Meeting in my church ward, where I just listened to a member play a piece on the piano. It was touching, listening to her fingers flit over all those keys in rapid fire, seemingly effortless. And I say that as a person who loves music but doesn’t usually get inspired through the hymns. Music can be beautiful, and it really moves us, but I’m more of a words sort of person. That being said, I think it’s incredible that music can go where words can’t.
And it’s not only music. Think of those who paint, or work with metals or fabrics or paper. What they express may be silent, but many times those expressions speak more loudly than any amplifier. And there are others who work in movements, calling out their thoughts in dance steps and turns of their hands. There are still more who work with animals, teach children, build machines, and crack codes. There are therapists, whose entire job is to listen and yet in that silence share messages of peace and healing. And there are photographers who capture all these things in snapshots, so we can get a glimpse into what it might be like.
The reason I love to write is because of these people. They all have incredible stories, and all it takes is the right question to find them. All it takes is the right collection of verbs and nouns and adjectives to make those stories come alive. And all it takes is a word or a phrase to strike a chord with people, so they understand, if even for one second, what it might be like to be that beautiful. And that in some way or another, we’re all beautiful. I don’t say that to be cliche. I say that to remind myself that everyone is incredible in their own right, and my job is to tell their stories.
I am privileged to hear those stories. To see tears or silent strength. To hear glee and excitement. To be inspired things both extraordinary and humbled. And I am grateful that from a pile of lines and squiggles that we call letters, words are formed that become sentences that become paragraphs. Paragraphs and lines and phrases that touch people, make them think. Change them, like I was listening to those piano notes played by fingers that can say so much, just not in words.
So my question is, how do you speak?