The nightmare of ‘It might have been’

uphill climbWords fascinate me, and those who write. For no particular reason one comes across a word or a clutter of words and is immediately drawn into its home. Yes, each word has a home of its own. I have been there. Some an impressive majestic estate. Others a humble hamlet. Each in its uniqueness and depth. When I am adventurous I venture into one of them. But often I stay away. Yet, sometimes I ponder on the opportunity I have missed, just as the following saying,

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” (John Greenleaf Whittier)

Why did I stay away and later regret? I ask. The answer is like this picture I took one winter day of climbing up a mountain. Just feel like the steps are getting too heavy to carry. I was in a train. Yet I could feel the weight. Some words are too heavy. But they have the depth and richness within and have lured many to press upward and deeper. Writers of worth do lots of trekking and digging. Some have spent many years just to finish a book. But the book remains even after they are gone.

Where have my ‘might have been’ books gone? Sometimes at night I can hear them knocking at my window and whispering, “Let me in.” Perhaps I shall pluck up enough courage to open my window one wintry night and let one in from the cold.

“She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.”
― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief


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