“We do not hear silence; rather, it is that by which we hear”
–excerpted from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, 1/8/20
The noise of this world–in its swirling constancy–exhausts me. Even before my ear decided to delve into the creativity of generating its own cacophonous mix tape, I required regular retreat into silence. It’s not that I don’t enjoy communication: talking, texting, social media-ing. And my need for silence is not a denial of my love for music and podcasts and TV and film. Nor does it refute that the sounds of the voices of the people that I care about possess the potential to strike a chord of joy in heart.
But the noise that surrounds us isn’t always so pleasant just as the world isn’t always so easy.
And there just comes a point when I lose myself in the density of the fog, in the low hanging sound cloud.
What I have come to learn of myself is that in order for me to feel at peace or able to act productively, I need space from the demand placed by others to listen, to respond, to engage. I need restorative time to slow my breath and only be required to exist in stillness. I need to withdraw a bit. I need to recognize that there is an introvert’s shadow cast by my extrovert’s demeanor and ignoring it doesn’t make it disappear. Ignoring it just means I am not honoring my whole self.
I think my need for “the bliss of solitude” can deceptively appear selfish and dismissive of others. But taking time away for self-care, in being still and silent, I am able to nurture myself and then able to clarify my understanding of and my attitude toward the events of the day–events both personal and of the world. I am able to strip away the excess of noise and to center myself which is the only way I am ever able to see or hear the truth of the people and situations around me. And if I am doing anything in this world, I want to be able to truly see others for their reality rather than through my assumptions.
In “Today”, Mary Oliver wrote, “Stillness. One of the doors/into the temple.” and I get that in such a real way. Being still in the silence leads to the sacred, frees the spirit, opens the mind, ignites the heart.
If only we invite it into our space, play by its rules and pause.
(Day Three of the 2020 King Cake Blogging Challenge–king cake is showing up in more places–the struggle is for real, y’all!)