Words Diminish?

The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When a secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.

Stephen King, The Body


My oldest friend and I read The Body when we were twelve years old. We have long categorized profound experiences in our life as "words diminish" moments.

When I decided to change the name of my online journal in April 2000, I chose this title because it's meant something to me for nearly half my life, and because there's so much more to life than the words we cling to as we try to describe it.

Words diminish.

Writing this journal has been the closest I've come to finding the words of my life.

(I changed the name of this journal yet again in 2002, but this passage remains one of my favorites of all time.)