What is silence? Is it peace? Is it acceptance? Is it wisdom? Silence is a choice. Everything is a choice. Silence or voice that’s the choice.
I love the Simon and Garfunkel song ‘Sounds of Silence,’ I think it sets the tone for this post. Enjoy.
What is there left to say when you don’t know what to say? Embarrassed by the gaffes and gummmphs, the half-formed words with quarter formed ideas, I often choose to stay silent hoping the situation will pass. I want the mosquito to fly away and annoy someone else taking that provocative moment out the window with it.
The mosquito eventually vanishes but my conscience remains disturbed by the encounter. The imprint of my silence is bold and heavy. It demands a call to action but the moment has passed and my silence leaves me contorted. I had an opinion, I had words of comfort, I had a choice.
Why didn’t I just say it?
My opinions are evolving fluid nature in nature, still consolidating. Yet they reflect the life I have lived to date. They belong to me and I can choose to share them or leave them unsaid, sitting passively in the classroom of conformity. Silence is a deep thick medium which spreads like a fog on a winter’s morning. It engulfs everything rendering it invisible. Cities of thought are swallowed: dumbstruck.
My throat begins to itch and I do that ‘Swallow, arhhh hummm,’ thing seeking relief for the thickness. Inner words rise up arms outstretched, hands encircling my throat, choking me. As I reflect on the missed opportunity to speak my truth, the feeling intensifies. I touch the roots; fear, frustration and lack of confidence, things that fuel the silence and suffocate my voice.
But everyone is talking. And no one is really listening in the competitive din. It’s a mosh pit not a conversation. Like a plastic neurons, they have moved into the space once occupied by my words. No one notices I’m saying less. At the crossroads, I choose to begin to speak again sharing what I know among the clatter and clang of words.
I am looking for someone to have a conversation with. They can be hard to find but it is well worth seeking. The festive season is upon us. Whilst giving us a time to socialise, it can be a nightmare for those people with social anxiety. Here are my survival tips:
- introduce yourself
- keep your body language open
- go fishing, find a point of interest
- show genuine interest
- if its not working gently move on, not everyone wants to talk