Weekly Notes #10 – Als je de stilte bewaart

Weekly Notes #10 – Als je de stilte bewaart

This week (on December 5) was International Volunteering Day. That is why, for this week’s Note, I picked a song for which I wrote the lyrics (to an existing melody) when I was volunteering for the Wigwam Foundation in 2008. The Wigwam Foundation organizes vacations for families with disabled children, with the help of many, many enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. I was introduced to the Wigwam in 2008, through my partner who was doing project management for one of their locations. For the two following years we did the project management together, for the Wigwam location in Arnhem. Neither of us had any background in the area of disability, so when it came to medical expertise we relied on our super-experienced volunteers, who often held jobs in the field as well as coming to volunteer during their holidays! I count the time I spent with the Wigwam among the most enriching things I have done in my life. Never could I have imagined how it would touch me to experience first-hand what it means to raise a child with disabilities, both practically and emotionally, as well as socially. To witness the resilience, joy, stamina and love of these children and their parents and their siblings, throughout all their hardships and sometimes downright suffering, was life changing for me.

The children from our Wigwam-years, as well as their siblings, are now teenagers and young adults. Every now and then, Facebook allows me a glimpse into their lives, and always my heart swells with pride and joy that I had the privilege of knowing them for a little while. Some of them are no longer with us, and some are, but will most likely not get old. I think of them as well. Sometimes, volunteers stay in touch for years with the child they looked after – ‘Wigwamming’ makes for some special friendships (and marriages and babies, too – between volunteers, that is). I wrote the lyrics for ‘Als je de stilte bewaart’ for the end night of my first Wigwam-week. Over nine years later, I am still touched by the emotions that moved my pen that day.

Als je de stilte bewaart (When you say nothing at all)

Ik word stil als ik zie hoezeer jij me vertrouwt
Een bijzondere band waar je samen aan bouwt
Ik heb geen woorden nodig, die schieten tekort
Om te zeggen hoe duidelijk wordt:

Een lach om je mond of een traan op je wangen
Zo toont niet alleen jij, maar elk mens zijn verlangen
Een woord of een zin kan veel zeggen en is vaak veel waard
Maar soms zeg je meer als je de stilte bewaart

Als de stem in jezelf even niet zo goed wil
Dan demp ik die van mij en ik blijf even stil
Zo leren we luisteren met ons gevoel
En zo weet ik toch wat je bedoelt

Een lach om je mond of een traan op je wangen
Zo toont niet alleen jij, maar elk mens zijn verlangen
Een woord of een zin kan veel zeggen en is vaak veel waard
Maar soms zeg je meer als je de stilte bewaart

© Sanna Songbird

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