Those who know me, know I’m not a big fan of being silent. I’m restless when I’m surrounded by quiet. While my body has slowed down as I’m oldering, my mind has not. If anything, it has sped up. I find silence elusive. Uncomfortable. Even impossible on occasion.
I’m now in a forced period of silence because this day I’m uttering no words. While my silence is self imposed, it’s not by choice. I had a rather severe choking – coughing spell yesterday as I drove north from a town south of my home. I quickly turned into a convenience store parking lot and “blew out” my vocal chords as I struggled to breathe. Yikes! It was intense and frightening, but thankfully it all came under control and I drove on home.
However, my speech had turned into a series of barked sounds meant to be words. At that moment I gave up speaking, hoping silence would be healing.
Going to the grocery store today was comical, as I evaded conversations with a smile and a slit-throat gesture. Asking where items were in this recently rearranged store, was accomplished by enlarging the list on my phone so as to point out what I was seeking.
The point is that I had committed to remaining silent and while it was for good reason, it was difficult. Yet, it’s not without a kind of pleasure. Forcing a new way to communicate, while brief, has given me a taste of silence. I’ve actually found pleasure in making this silent-silence commitment, while finding innovative ways around it. Clearly I’m not all in.
Recalling the crosses I have been making, I’m aware I have been in a place of silence as I have created each cross. In Making Crosses, the suggestion is to name each one after its creation. As I’ve just today read that directive, my crosses are unnamed. But I have decided to name a cross I created a couple of days ago.
It’s name is Found Silence. Beach glass nestled in an acorn shell anchored to wood scraps. All found.
Reflecting on Psalm 62:1, “For God alone my soul in silence waits”, The Reverend Barbara Crafton writes “…silence has come to feel sweet to me, sweet and expectant; something will come to me in the quiet, it seems: a thought, a word, maybe just a gentle sleep. Some sweet gift.”
Perhaps I, too, have had a taste of the sweet gift of silence.