is for quiet
I always need lots of quiet space in my life, and there are times when I need even more than my usual quota. I feel myself dipping into one of those periods. I dreamt last night I chose not to speak, but instead communicated through a graceful language of quiet gestures made somehow more clear because I had beautiful pictures painted on my hands.
Dear Quiet –
You are one of my dearest friends. You are such a precious balm for me. First you wash away the edges of sharpness that feel so jaggedy and pointy and NOISY. I can just be in your presence and feel the tightness fall off me. And then when I’m wrapped in the comfort of your muffle long enough to feel the sigh of complete relaxation, then I know the corner has been turned. And then you shift from draining the noise and tension and overstimulation from me and become what fills me up. It feels delicious to swell with quiet, knowing there is expansiveness in the quietness; ever more room to move in the spaciousness; sweet beauty in the silence. Thank you for all the ways you nourish me and for always being there when I need to find you, and for always reminding me when I’m in your presence I can hear best with my heart ears. I love you!
We have a family story that when my brother was young and an endless chatterbox our older sister cautioned him that were we only given a certain number of words to use in a lifetime and he’d probably want to be careful not to use them all up in one night. I love that story for a million reasons, and no doubt it has fueled much imagining on my part. And so when I found this poem by Jeffrey McDaniel it was love at first read.
The Quiet World
In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.
When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.
Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.
When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.
Your turn. Can you imagine a world where we are encouraged more to look into each others eyes? Are you more comfortable on the quieter end of the spectrum or the extroverted? Do you need background music/sounds to be most productive? Have you ever done a silent retreat? Do tell – you know I love to hear. Just whisper because I’m having a quiet day.