A friend quoted this old saying on Facebook a few days ago. I have never heard this before and for some unknown reason I couldn’t let it go. It struck a chord in my pea brain . When things rattle for a while in my head, there is usually a reason.
I looked it up and some of the definitions for this witty saying are:
The least intelligent of us are the loudest.
One who uses many words to make up for the lack of substance.
I even came across the quote: “A loaded wagon makes no noise.” It is to mean people with real money don’t talk about it. Huh?
Who makes this stuff up?
I didn’t grow up in a family that used witty old-time sayings. I’m a little dim in this department. But they are fun. Especially if we can make up our own definitions.
Before I had a chance to look up the meaning, I had made my own mind up.
Perspective is everything, isn’t it? Experience is everything, isn’t it? And really, what is reality? Is it a concrete thing? My reality surely isn’t the same as yours. Sometimes I even question whether my siblings grew up in the same house as I did. Their reality is not the same as mine. Mine is not the same as theirs.
Oops. Sorry. Getting off track. Get back on the wagon, girl.
My interpretation comes from my experience. For much of my life my heart felt empty. And since I am very symbolic and use symbols in my art a lot, I saw an empty wagon as an empty heart. In my art, I use boats and vessels to represent people. They speak holders of our souls. Wagons …not too different than boats and vessels.
Okay……So I got my empty wagon.
Rattle the loudest. Have you ever seen a child (of course, you have) that makes a lot of racket because he isn’t getting attention? A child that has been abused or neglected or has a sad heart that is rebellious in order to make himself be heard? The class clown in school desperate for attention? The guy with the lamp shade on his head?
And to the other extreme, the people who lash out hurting and/or killing people? Their cage is rattled, so they need to rattle everyone else’s cage.
Or an adult that doesn’t know how to express the wounds they feel or dont know how to go about healing those wounds so it is manifested through loud, rattling anger?
It wasn’t too far in the distant past that I felt like I was an “empty wagon rattling the loudest”. My heart hurt and I wanted people to know it. I wanted ME to know it. But I didn’t know how. There was no peace in that wagon. It’s like a baby crying for her bottle and can’t ask kindly because she doesn’t know how to speak. So it all comes out ugly and creaky. And cranky.
How do we heal from our wounds so that we can fill our empty wagons with a calm and peace? For me? I had to admit to myself that I hurt and ask God to help me heal. He is very clever. He uses many people in my world to help in that process. I just have to be open and accepting of that help and be willing to do what I am told.
At all costs.
Prayer. Prayer and more prayer. It is a miraculous journey to see the hurts dissolve and be replaced with strength, hope and joy. I think for many, many years I was not even cognizant that my wagon was empty. But the clanking in my ear grew stronger and stronger. It could not be ignored any longer.
My wagon aint full everyday, let me tell you. There is some clankin’ around here and there. But it hasn’t been buck empty for a long time now. It gets easier to notice when I am rattling louder and louder and I load up the wagon with soft fluffy pillows. It is work, but anything worth doing is work, right?
I think I like that old saying,
Empty wagons rattle the loudest.