Words seem to mean so much and so little. There are so many concepts that words seem necessary for and then so many ideas that language can’t possible express or even contain. Quotes, those pithy, little expressions of human understanding that seem to explain everything so effortlessly often end up meaningless. Khali Gabrin writes that your cup of happiness can only be as full as your cup of sorrow is deep…The reason I like this idea is that it means that our capacity for love and joy grow with experiences of difficulty. It is so optimistic and hopeful but unfortunately it sounds a little bit (but for some reason does not at all contain the same idea) like those people who say that God only gives you what you can handle…Which by the way, I usually want to smack these people…they never have any “real” problems in their lives so they don’t actually know what they can or can’t handle…I actually find it insulting…it is almost as if because I am a “strong, kind, person” I have to have “extra special burdens,” just to show the rest of the “poor, weak people” how it is possible to be “strong” in the face of adversity. I never, ever in my life have met a person suffering from cancer or grieving from loss who has said God is just giving it to me because I am strong enough to handle it. Which leads me to,” What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Nietzsche certainly had a dour philosophical streak running through his blood. What I find funny about this quote is how lovingly we Americans have latched onto this adage with such gusto. When you really think about it is quite silly…there are many things that don’t kill us but weaken us both emotionally and physically. This all bring me to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, which has to be the perfect example of the transcendence of the spoken word. A true exploration of faith, suffering and the journey of life through music rather than word. Coltrane dreamed, literally, the entire album in four parts: acknowledgement, resolution, pursuance, and psalm. I could go into a discussion of how similar language is to math, and thus to music…but that is not the purpose here. I’d rather discuss meditation, or breathing or even yoga. The silence that has eluded me since Miles came into our lives…That same silence that won’t go away…The concept of something being constant yet entirely elusive is something I can’t possibly express in language, or music, or math. Yet those are the places I find comfort when words are not nearly enough…In prayer…which in its most powerful state can’t possibly contain language, in love (indefinable… Every single person experiences it differently therefore there can’t possibly have a common definition), in the comfort of numbers and that sense of a shared experience that we call “genetic memory.” I suppose that it is pertinent that I am trying to write about how words don’t mean much this third New Year that Miles welcomes into his silently deafening world. I wonder if this will be the year he speaks and what he will say. I wonder how many words I’ll read about language, autism, speech...how many discussions, explanations and stories I’ll get to share about the complex joy that comes communicating without words. So, then a toast (what a stupid word) to all of the people who must transcend the spoken word to live in this life…Truly, your world is infinitely more fascinating than mine.