Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Right Words Will Always Come Back

You write on brown paper bags. Sometimes it is just a few lines, sometimes it is more. Other times, it will just be a single word, and you will choose this word carefully, like you are choosing the only flower you will ever be able to look at for the rest of your life.

You don’t write in biro. Biro can survive water, and you need these words to be ephemeral, you need them to be as fragile as the thoughts behind them. You need to know they can be washed away with tears, that they will bleed into pretty patterns before they disappear completely.

Once they’re gone, you imagine the journeys they will make. The wind might catch a paragraph and sneak it into the tallest tree. There it will whisper to the birds, teach them a new song. A sentence might find its way into the pink hands of a child, as it crunches on cola cubes. A word might find itself part of a shopping list, and nestle there a little out of place, between bread and toothpaste, above bananas.

Your words will always be remembered, somehow. Even when washed away, even when the ink of them is just a swirl of an idea in a puddle, what’s important will go on, picking up pace like a downhill snowball, or a runaway train. Your words will go down the track, finding their way back to the one they were meant for.

And one day, a bird will sit on a windowsill, and like a postcard it will sing your words. And they will be heard, and absorbed, and kept for a lifetime in the soft rooms of someone’s heart.

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