I remember, for instance, the first time I went to the great palace of Versailles outside Paris and how, as I wandered around among all those gardens and fountains and statues, I had a sense that the place was alive with ghosts which I was just barely able to see, that somewhere just beneath the surface of all that was going on around me at that moment, the past was going on around me too with such reality and such poignance that I had to have somebody else to tell about it if only to reassure myself that I wasn’t losing my mind. I wanted and sorely needed to name to another human being the sights that I was seeing and the thoughts and feelings they were giving rise to. I thought that in a way I could not even surely know what I was seeing physically until I could speak of it to someone else, could not come to terms with what I was feeling as either real or unreal until I could put it into words and speak those words and hear other words in response to mine. But there was nobody to speak to, as it happened, and I can still remember the frustration of it: the sense I had of something trying to be born in me that could not be born without the midwifery of expressing it; the sense, it might not be too much to say, of my self trying to be born, of a threshold I had to cross in order to move on into the next room of who I had it in me just then to become. “in the beginning was the Word,” John writes, and perhaps part of what that means is that until there is a word, there can be no beginning. Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember, in an essay called The Speaking and Writing of Words.

~ Frederick Buechner