In his poem “Unsaid,” Dana Goia describes the aches, the joys, the “tongue-tied” loves we keep inside, not daring to reveal our deepest selves to others. The poem ends with the line, “Think of the letters that we write our dead.” What might change if we sometimes dug under the thin upper crust of ourselves into the deep caves and hidden rooms we rarely enter? What if we had the courage, humility, and trust to tell about our griefs and secret joys, our dreams and fears and radical hopes for our world? What if, once in a while, the self we keep hidden most of the time emerged into the sunlight, messy and unconventional and gloriously whole? Of course, such risky speaking needs listeners who aren’t scared off by honesty; listeners who welcome it and then feel free to say the unsaid. What might happen if we didn’t wait until death to write those letters?
By Mara Faulkner, OSB