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Location: Midwest, United States

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Yin Yang of Silence

I’ve been told that I am loud. I could not believe it initially, given that my inner voice has always been rather shy and quiet, but I’ve heard it said enough times by so many people that I accept it as fact. I suppose it is my birthright. I am, after all, the child of thespians.

I have certainly lived loudly. There are, first, my drums. They are not subtle things. I have boomed and crashed my wilder rhythms, ‘til windows shook and neighbors wagged their fingers. There was the hair that touched my waist and billowed in my wake as I rode unmufflered cycles down country lanes and byways. I’ve always loved the raucous throats of my machines, the squealing tires and the roaring wind. I prefer to listen to all music loudly, delighting in the waves of sound and visceral subsonic thrumming. My damaged ears confirm that I have lived loudly.

But I’ve long loved silence. My mother told me I was a tranquil baby. As a child I used to play placidly in silent worlds of my imagination. I’ve lived alone for many years and may, in fact, spend my remaining years in solitude. I feel comfortable shrouded in silence. I am at home in the stillness of a winter prairie. I can sit for hours contemplating the hushed midnight sky. I feel sublime freedom as I sit on a hillside watching dawn emerge from dark. I find peace in the quiet.

I have feline instincts. I work and read and run in silence. I find my truths in silence. And when I hurt, I seek only dark quiescence. I prefer to suffer in silence. The quiet has been a faithful partner, friend and healer.

Still, there are times when silence burns and gnaws with unrelenting fury. There have been times when I’ve been abandoned, simply tossed aside. No explanations given, no questions answered or resolved. Silence mocks a broken heart. Silence, in times like these, is salt on these open wounds of mine. These are the times when the quiet feels like a curse. When a heart burns with questions and is met with only silence, it dies a bit…and then a little bit more. I feel my heart slowly turning to dust in the quiet of these winter days.

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