Now, there may be another question just pecking at your head. Like a crow, it may haunt you, or it may simply be the tantalizing question that may kill the cat. Before the crow haunts or the cat kicks the bucket, I will ask: Why would someone who has every ability to speak communicate silently?
Why, indeed. I have no speech impairments. No birth defects to halt my tongue or shut my mouth. In fact, I do talk a lot. Quite a lot. So why must I revert to silent means to express my ideas and make myself heard ? What lies within the colored pencil that I cannot express with a voice? What secrets lurk in the keyboard that speech can never recognize? What is it about a pat on the head and a smile that draws out the innocent smile of a child when words are rendered useless?
I don t have the answer. A voice is simple to use. It needs no tools to help it work. A voice is a God-given device that was meant for communicating. That is its sole purpose. Whether it is a song or a speech, a message is always conveyed from one person to another. Voices carry heavy weight, and many speeches are documented in history as life-altering . One of these famous speeches would be I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. His powerful words changed the American view of equality for all in a very different matter. His dedicated voice brought on the end to segregation and racial differences. Through this speech, Americans, whether black, white, brown, or even blue, came to see themselves as equal people, one in the same.
Voices have affected people like this throughout history, so why doesn t mine? The answer has decided to run away from me constantly, and never lets me understand its concept. My voice is small and weak, yet a pencil has opened up a few new roads for me.
What are you drawing? a few friends from class are always prodding. As always, I am doodling on my assignment. I have already finished my work and now sit, bored in class. I silently move my paper to show my newest creation. It is me, only younger. And I am sitting in an old-style swing. I am surrounded by grass and am hooked up to a tree. The expression of my younger face is pure bliss. That is where I wish I were. And without a word being mentioned to them, my friends understand and praise and critique my work. There is more of the former than the latter nowadays. Why is it that delicate strokes provide me an expression that words and vocal tones could never allow me?
What are you writing now? my mother leans over my shoulder to read my latest story. Wordlessly, I let her continue on. Before long, I can hear the tell-tale signs of tears. I look around for a tissue. Finding one, I hand it over to my mother, crying over the emotionally touching death of one of my most favorite and most loved characters. Being the English critic that she is, I expect a lot of helpful suggestions. She usually gives me those. But not this time. She only hugs me tightly and tells me once more that I should think about getting published. Of course, I can t publish the story she just read, but she s seen my only original story and is thoroughly convinced that I don t give myself enough credit with my computer-written stories. What is it about words-arranged from a single stanza poem to a story of twenty-eight chapters-that have granted me passage to worlds that speech could never allow me?
A little boy is sitting at the table in church. I saw this same boy walk around earlier. He had something attached to his leg that made him walk awkwardly and-as I am pretty sure-uncomfortably. He is sitting there, looking at the blocks that are on the ground. The other boys around his age are playing with such happy voices and excited movements, I m pretty sure he wants to play with them. But it would be uncomfortable to sit on the ground with that thing on his leg, and it has to be there for medical reasons. I can t take it off, and I can t get him down to the ground, so I do the next best thing I could. I asked some of the boys if I could borrow some of their blocks. With distracted nods from the kids, I gather a few of the unused blocks and take it to the table. I place the blocks on the table and ruffle the kid s hair. His once-longing face became alight with happiness and excitement. He carried that excitement until his father came to get him. I hear that kid is now out of that leg brace. Why is it that movement and body language have done far more for me than a voice could ever do?
My talent is to remain silent. Why is that? I don t know. But it isn t so much of a curse, now is it?