“The lack of audible sound or presence of sounds of very low intensity; by analogy, the word silence can also refer to any absence of communication, including in media other than speech. Silence is also used as total communication, in reference to nonverbal communication and spiritual connection. Silence also refers to no sounds uttered by anybody in a room or area. Silence is an important factor in many cultural spectacles, as in rituals”. Source
Silence and I have a problem. We are not talking to each other. My go-to excuse is I am a mom with a part-time preschooler, living in a one-plus-one condo downtown, I don’t have the time or space for silence. Someone is always around, If it is not my kid, it is my husband or the 2.79 million people that make up the hustle bustle of a pulsing city outside my building. I am surrounded by varying degrees of noise, most of which is a regular soundtrack of my day from morning till night. My excuse, as convenient as it is to whip out to explain an emotional outburst, is just that- an excuse. Truth be told I avoid silence. I am a little afraid of it. Not the irrational “horror movie” fear where the lurking quiet engulfs me and I disappear, although that would make for a good Twilight Zone episode, or a story I could write. (Hey you, copyright in effect I’ll get to that story..soonish). It’s more a dread of what that silence will communicate to me.
I may not be regular in following the daily rituals as prescribed by my religion; however I consider myself a deeply spiritual person. My conversations with God are mostly selfish, whether it is asking for improvement or asking for forgiveness, you know the drill. Even if the request is for someone else, my asking it usually because its outcome would have some kind of effect on me. I am nowhere near as actualized as I would like to be but that is something that will come with time and experience, I hope. In the meantime despite the noise of my surrounding I keep my mind busy with thoughts, prayers, conversations, lists, action plans; never a moment’s rest. When I do take the time to formally pray, prostrating to the Divinity that made my consciousness, my existence possible I end up rushing through the motions because I’ve auto programmed my mind to distraction. My focus is divided. It’s constantly rush hour in there and the traffic lights have stopped working. But the thing with all these thoughts is they mostly stay just that. Rarely do they make their way out of that jam to turn into action.
Today I had an accidental encounter with silence. My husband sensed I needed some time to myself so he took our little girl out to the park for a picnic. Excited, I Netflix-ed a couple of episodes, but after an unusually short while I didn’t feel like watching anymore. I switched off the television; shut the laptop, cell phone out of sight. My hands occupied with a hot mug of tea; I stared at a pot of green grass my daughter had planted in school. Its vibrant green gave off a calm aura and my mind started to clear, slowly drifting to nothingness. The last thought I had was of my late Nani (maternal grandmother) who loved spring so much. She too would grow fresh grass every year as a symbol to celebrate the coming of the season. At this thought my heart clenched and my eyes immediately welled up with tears; the hurt of her passing still new. Transfixed, in the midst of that quiet, silence saw its chance. It started to speak. I started to listen. A second later, someone knocked on the door.
My reverie broken, silence went on its way.