Silence comes in many forms, and for many reasons.
There’s the teeth-picking silence between companions who have shared a large and delicious meal.
There’s the unnoticed silence of two souls blessed with the knowledge that their hearts are secure in each other’s hands.
There’s the mournful silence of a friendship being killed by a cold shoulder dressed in excuses.
And there’s the frustrated silence of a voice that no longer has anything to say.
I have experienced all of the above, but it has been the last on the list that has kept me from dropping words here.
The internet is making the world a smaller place and having spent nearly half my life documenting my non-adventures on one blogging platform or another, I am beginning to feel the walls closing in.
More than that, I don’t really feel that I have anything of great note to share anymore. I think there are plenty of voices out here, shouting opinions and feelings and memories into the ether, and now that particular kind of skin doesn’t feel as comfortable draped over my bones as it once did.
I no longer feel sentences tapping from the inside, begging to be rolled around my tongue before they are sighed across a page. I don’t feel the call of a story asking my fingers to dance, and I don’t hear the voices of fragmented people, aching to be pieced together and shown to the world.
I do, occasionally, feel their absence, but the frightening part, when I realise it, is that more often than not, I don’t.
I’m hoping that somewhere within this new silence, I will one day hear a voice which has historically been drowned out by all those others who clamoured for my attention. Perhaps we will be able to spend a lot of time alone together, cloistered in a room, spilling secrets onto pages as their history comes alive.
I’m not sure if there’s anyone in there anymore, or whether I lost them all when I went searching for the answers to myself. I’m really not certain as to whether the trade-off has been worth it. It’s lonely and boring inside me now, with nobody else to play with. I liked all those friends I had, whose names I didn’t yet know, whose personalities I grew to love or loathe.
I liked writing their stories and disappearing inside them for awhile, but, a little bit like those friends whose icy shoulders are all I have been privy to, the only thing I’m hearing from the voices is mournful silence or fancy-dressed excuses as to their absence.
Now life has placed me on a path that I have no past experience in treading.
There are pitfalls and panics I am about to encounter that leave no room for these, the sad sort of silences that fill up all the corners I have with their dark self-loathing, their constant unanswered questions – they consume far more energy than their happy counterparts do and energy is one thing I need to spend wisely now.
It’s time for me to try on another of the silences, one I am very unaccustomed to wearing – the resigned silence of one who knows when to stop chasing control and simply let whatever will be, be.
I’m sure my internal tantrums will very quickly put an end to that silence.