Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Sound of Silence

Sometimes I truly appreciate the sound of silence. For those of you who know me, this might seem to be an odd thing to say considering my relatively extroverted and word-i-licious personality (this blog's not called Loquacious for nothing).

Once upon a time I was the kind of person who couldn't be quiet in a quiet room. If there was a lull in conversation, I would be the one to fill it with a new topic, an opinion, a random thought or ask "What are you thinking about?". In the past, I felt very uncomfortable with the silence between two people, as though it meant there was something wrong. I mean, there must be something wrong if neither of you has anything to say, right? You must not be good friends or good romantic partners or something must be amiss, surely?

It took spending time with D (and lots of his insistence) to have me realise that there are times when a comfortable silence is just that - comfortable. There is no need to fill the space with noise for the sake of noise. In fact you can communicate just as much without the words and allow the most amazing peace in your life. I have also found that not filling the spaces with my own words really allows other people to come out with some of the most magical statements. I wonder how many of those gems I missed whilst I was busy chatting away?

When I was working as a Paramedic, I found the tool of "being quiet" often allowed a patient to present you with the gift of a symptom, or a description of a pain, or a memory of an incident or illness, which was the last piece of the puzzle you were looking for to figure out what was wrong with them. I was so grateful for being able to develop the skill of allowing the silence, which then assisted me to assist others in need.

As much as I love my chatty friends who lift me up and energise me with their expression and enthusiasm, sometimes I just love those lazy afternoons where you can sit with your girlfriend(s) and enjoy their presence in contented silence. Knowing full well that if there was a need to chat about something, the occasion would arise to comfortably do so.

Saturday afternoon gave me a great opportunity to spend some girl time; we put Mamma Mia on the dvd and painted our toenails and sang along to our favourite songs. Then Dirty Dancing (an old favourite) and some afternoon snacks, some wedding talk with a newly engaged friend (congrat's 'Cole), some reminiscing... and there it was... that comfortable silence.... the delight at being comfortable in each other's presence. What a great way to spend an afternoon and evening.

I love a comfortable silence in my home, whether it is sitting next to D at the computers having the occasional word or two; sitting in different rooms and sporadically calling out "I love you" to each other; pottering in the kitchen or the garden or simply doing my favourite chore - washing, hanging and folding the laundry. It has given me the opportunity to be more in touch with myself and my feelings, to know myself and to "spend time with myself" - a wonderful tool a very wise woman once taught me when I used to complain about spending time"all by myself".

Appreciate and enjoy the silent moments in your life, you never know what you might hear, as Cindy Campo sings in her song Beautiful Soul - "even in the dead of silence,You are being blessed by what you hear".

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