[Versión en español aquí.]
I’ve been asked many times why I prefer to write some things, rather than saying them face to face. Usually, people ask me that, believing it is a problem: that I am trying to avoid the discomfort of facing the other person. That I don’t like to see my shyness standing between what I want to say, and what I end up saying. Or maybe that I am scared of the reaction that my words will awaken.
Oddly enough, and even though all three reasons are partially true -although less as the years go on-, time has always agreed with me. And that’s the real reason why I haven’t changed it. Spoken words are carried away by the wind and the memory. And sometimes we even choose not to hear them. But written words remain there forever, and we cannot choose not to read them: curiosity is too strong for it to be ignored. Sooner or later, we will be drawn to read them. When a temptation is permanent, succumbing to it is just a matter of time.
It is truly a pity that the most emotive way of communication is also the one that leaves the least to remember. We recall more about the situation than about the words themselves… until, one day, the conversation is diluted in our memory as a simple summary of the whole thing. But written words are different. You can revive the events they carry with them, long after you forgot them. Thanks to them, you can recall the person they talk to us about. And sometimes, we can even relish for an instant all the feelings that created them.
Written words are funny in that sense: part of us remains forever engraved to them, talking about who we were, where we used to be, and maybe also where we were going. We can catch a glimpse of our former self -and so can whomever reads us-.
And all this will stay there forever.
It is up to us to make sure that those powerful words are actually worth reading.