Four years ago a druid told me to find my silence. I’ve searched quite extensively for it, in depths of meditation, in nature, on strange journeys and forced cease-fires. I’ve found the absence of sound. Often. But my silence… My silence I only found in the quiet between souls.
I recall a night of unexplained melancholy between myself and my beloved. The distance between us great. The longing tangible. Meeting up on different sides of computer screens a hundred kilometers apart, I sat staring at my screen with my hand on the screen thinking if I believed, I could reach all the way through it. I sat. Quietly. After a while he typed: I’m sorry I’m so quiet. I hadn’t realised neither of us had typed a single word in the longest time. I just said: I’m quiet too. It wasn’t uncomfortable. It was just silent.
Love lives in a thousand silent ways.
In the space where you don’t have to say a single word. That gives me great comfort. I think about 80% of the time when I speak, I speak because I am socially conditioned to speak. Because I know I am expected to speak. I know I am expected to behave in a certain way, because that is what being sociable means or being in company means or because I am so uncomfortable with the silence that lies between me and every one else on this planet. I live alone and I quite enjoy it mostly because I don’t have to say anything if I don’t feel like it. I can just be me. Quietly pottering around, fiddling with pot plants, watering plants, cutting roses, tidying, cooking. My house is always pounding with sound, the radio, the dogs, the neighbours… but my mind is quiet. Silence.
I guess being able to find my silence took an external affirmation, apparently. It’s not like I’ve only just been able to live happily in my own private silence. I just only discovered it, when it was pointed out to me. My silence was here inside me, around me all the time. But wen I shared it, I knew I had it.
It reminds me a little of my favourite song in My Fair Lady where she sings in Wouldn’t it be lovely:
Oh, so lovely sittin’ abso-bloomin’-lutely still
I would never budge till spring
Crept over the window sill
Someone’s head restin’ on my knee
Warm and tender as he can be
Who takes good care of me
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly…
Turns out, the simplest thing makes me happy. Just a comfortable silence. Somehow I don’t think it’s just that… It must also be an empty silence.
My house is always pounding with sound, because when I was little the latter half of my parents’ marriage was spent in silence. They only discussed logistics. The silence that occupied my childhood home was one of a thousand unspoken resentments between two adults. In the end they didn’t fight. They lived past each other, my dad would busy himself with his ‘things’, usually something that included music and my mom would do her ‘things’. There would be stretches of watching TV in silence. They laughed at the same spots, made the odd comment, but that silence hung in the air like a bad stench. Later in life I recognised that silence in my first relationship. We would box set binge, mostly because it facilitated a space where I wouldn’t be obliged to talk to him and the silence wouldn’t be questioned. The times I spoke about anything was usually because I had become starved for sharing a thought, and the pay-off was so disappointing, because my then partner would speak and I just regretted opening that door. The resentment doesn’t last forever in that silence. Time kills it and then it’s just the death of the relationship you can smell floating in that silence. After a while that silence is just filled with decomposing relationship… and then nothing… but this nothing is like an abyss. You don’t want that nothing floating around in your silence. No wonder I searched for so long and did not find.
I bet there was a fear that if I did find my silence, the silence free of cluttered thought that nothing would be wallowing around in it. Maybe I did know my silence but too afraid of that nothing I never looked into it to search for the sweet comfort. There are lots of maybe’s. But thank goodness I did.
Oh the sweetness in that silence.
The silence of just sitting.
The silent comfort of knowing.
The comfortable silence in just loving.
The love in a look, in perfect silence.
The silences between breaths and heartbeats in moments of pure vulnerability.
The silence in absolute adoration.
Love lives in a thousand silent ways.