Killing the Silence(s)

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Silence.

Is deafening.

Is golden.

Is revenge.

Is . . . ?

Not the solid wall we often imagine it to be.  The one we fear brushing up against.

It’s not the sort of stoic, finite, dead space of a concrete block we try so deftly to avoid slamming into.

Silence, instead, is a living thing.

“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.”

– Chaim Potok, The Chosen

It is not static or absolute or final.

Silence is organic; it seeks. It connects.

Silence has fibers and fingers and nerve endings. To be held by silence can be an extremely, powerfully intimate experience.

In a world so devoid of intimate touch, it can also be overwhelming.

For so many of us, to be touched in love can actually be a frightening thing, a beautiful, vulnerable disarming thing. Maybe that’s why we are so quick to try and stub out the silence, suffocate it, kill it off with the relentless empty words and the media feeds and the rush and the noise.

Because we don’t understand silence we fear him, and because we fear him we don’t allow space for all he has to teach us.  We don’t want to get too close.

“We live in an age of incessancy, under the banner of the already heard and forgotten.”

– George Prochnik, In Pursuit of Silence

We think we know the sound of silence and what his singular message is – and we don’t have time to hear it – so we don’t let him nestle in. It takes a different kind of skill or maybe better said it takes an ancient, deeply-embedded-but-long-forgotten kind of knowing, to engage with silence and be able to understand his many messages.

There is, after all, the silence of reverence.

The silence of everything we don’t know how to say.

The silence of awe.

The silence of holding and of letting go.

The silence of resistance.

The silence of untruth.

The silence of the Only Truth.

The silence of uncertainty.

The silence of fear. Of patience. Of impatience.

Of still learning. Of knowing.

Of forgetting.

Of growing.

Of not there yet.

Of gone.

The silence of almost.

The silence of done.

Silence speaks, it moves, it is a language and a sense all its own. It has to be practiced and learned to be deeply understood.

It’s so tempting to reach for the noise of this world as a distraction or a mask or an addiction or an avoidance of ourselves. As a way to avoid that cold, hard brick wall we imagine silence to be.

There is sacred wisdom, though, in not just being quiet but being with the quiet. Opening ourselves to a relationship with silence allows us to understand, intuitively understand, all the things that cannot be said or exchanged with noise.

And there are so many, many of these things.

If we could humble ourselves and bow into his touch, we’d stop killing silence and let ourselves be held by him.

 

~ ~ ~

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26 thoughts on “Killing the Silence(s)

  1. Rajagopal

    Not sure if you observed it or not, Allison; I am getting back to you after a not so long silence because, as the saying goes, speech is silver and silence is golden. Ordinary minds discuss people, great minds discuss ideas, while still greater minds work in silence. In other words, the last mentioned creates the field for the ordinary and great to leave their mark…best wishes… Raj.

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello there, Raj,

      It is always wonderful to hear from you, my friend! Thank you for your beautiful comment, words and thoughts. I love what you have shared and especially appreciate your description of a ‘field’ – that is so fascinating. And well said, indeed.

      Wishing you much peace and light, today and always,

      Allison

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    This is great. I love the idea of all of the different aspects of silence; something I’ve never thought about before, and something I will surely process while on the road for work today. ~ Thank you. (Note: I would reblog this, but I’m not seeing a way to…(?) Maybe add a “Press This” (WordPress reblog) button?)

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Wow, thank you SO much my friend for the comment. It is awesome when there’s a connection for someone, thank you for taking the time to let me know. ;)

      Wouldn’t you know this is my own site (self-hosted) plugged into WordPress so I don’t think they let me have Re-blog or Press. Which is a real disappointment because I would be so honored to have that privilege. At least can I tell you how very much it means to me that you would consider doing either of those things.

      You are awesome. ;)

      Reply
  3. ilyas

    Oh Allison, I absolutely love this. It even read gently as if I should whisper each word. I have never considered the many faces of silence. Excellent my friend, excellent.

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      My dear Ilyas,

      How beautiful your words, dear one, thank you so very much for them, for your thoughts and spirit. Please do whisper the words if they speak to you so – that is a precious way to experience them, indeed.

      Sending you so much peace, love, and light,

      Allison

      Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello Vashti!

      It is a joy to hear from you, thank you so much for taking the time and care to comment. I am thrilled to bits this post resonated for you – that’s the BEST. Silence is fascinating, no?!

      Wishing you much peace and light, my friend. ;)

      Reply
  4. Dan

    Hi there Allison and hi to all readers.
    From what I observed from my social experiences, people avoid silence. It is ‘awkward’ and one must be crazy to chase silence.
    There is no need to avoid the signals of the body / mind that need that silence to recharge and reconnect with the body.
    The fast pace of modern times does not allow that anymore. Season come and go and we do not witness them anymore yet adore and savor them as people once did. It is simply put, disappointing.
    Meditation is based around silence. Nothing more to say. :).
    Great post Allison.
    – Dan

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello Dan,

      Thank you for your beautiful comment. I feel you about the social scene – we are sort of quick to ‘fill in’ silences of all kinds aren’t we.

      I love how you mention the signals of the body, that’s really interesting. The idea that our physical beings as well as our minds crave silence is one I had not thought of . . . brilliant, friend.

      So true, too, about the beautiful seasons. To often we are rushing one to get to the next. Here’s to the savoring of their silent flow. ;)

      Sending you so much light and peace, Dan, always,

      Allison

      Reply
  5. The Fashion Huntress

    This is a really great topic to bring up! I’m glad you did :) silence is reallly tough for me sometimes. There are definitely some contexts where I can tolerate it well, and others when it does feel deafening. Thank you for bringing up such a great perspective!

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Thank you so much, my friend! I’m glad that you are glad. ;)

      Isn’t it funny how silence has an effect on us all it’s own . . . and in so many varied ways. I know what you mean – some are much tougher than others!

      Sending you so much light and peace, always. XO

      Reply
  6. Robert

    Indeed, silence is a beautiful and living state. To be truly in silence is to find the heart and soul of existence, the only way. The world constantly intrudes into this space which is so important, to the extent that many find it an unnatural state and run from it. Feelings of boredom, looking for the next thrill or the next external fixation to entertain the mind.

    If silence is embraced then we are led directly into the present moment of being, of living. It is not empty, just as empty spaces are not, but full of the energy of the cosmos.

    Wishing you the peaceful joys of spring and that you find wonder in the moments of silence :)

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      My precious, precious friend,

      First I beg your forgiveness for taking this long to respond to your beautiful words. I love them, as usual. ;)

      “external fixation” – that is exactly, exactly it. Perfectly said. And my goodness does our culture thrive on the chaos of the more, more, more madness right. It’s exhausting.

      Much better, isn’t it, that we come home to our inner peace and the warmth of eternal light. Into the richness of going still and silent. That, love, is where it’s at.

      Today and always, always, I wish you the grandest expanse of love, of joy, of peace. Bless you, dear Robert. ;)

      Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Wow, thank you so much! I am so thrilled to know you enjoyed this one. Thank you for taking the time and care to leave such a gorgeous comment. That means so much to me. ;)

      Peace to you, always.

      Reply
  7. Batya

    The silence of being.

    Silence is rare these days.

    Have you noticed that our lives have a soundtrack? I noticed this first in the 1980s with the introduction of the Sony Walkman. Suddenly, I had full stereo symphonic quality music in my ears anytime! Previously, it had only been Muzak that followed me in stores and elevators. Now I could program my own soundtrack… although it frequently devolved just to whatever was on the radio at the time, including commercials. At the time, you could tell who was listening to the soundtrack because over-the-head earphones were the only option for sound.

    Then came the Walkman Cassette player. I could listen to lectures, books on tape….

    Fast forward to modern times. Telephone calls, MP3s, podcasts, radio. Everything is accessible. Worst of all is the person walking down the street seemingly speaking to himself. You think he’s crazy as he gesticulates wildly, then you may notice a small blue light around his ear showing the presence a Bluetooth microphone, and you realize he’s on the phone. Next worst is the iPhone listener who has two tiny “earbuds” screwed into his head. Virtually undetectable, these people are incommunicado, only paying attention to what flows through his ears. Some have returned to headphones, however, and they are easier to identify as being “plugged in.”

    Silence is rare these days. You really have to seek it.

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Ooooh MAN, I totally remember my first walkman! That is an awesome flashback – thank you for that little trip down memory lane! I actually remember my first radio – it was purple, haha. It was the best. ;)

      And it really is wild how the noise has evolved just as you say. Now we can be distracted every single second of our lives if we prefer it that way.

      You are right on the money, dear Batya – most often, the “silence of being” has to be sought out deliberately. It’s not so easy a seek these days, is it. But totally worth it. And dare we say, essential?

      Sending so much light and peace you way, friend.

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Enjoying a relationship with silence is such a lovely concept. Thanks Allison!
    I’ve examined it and I think I am devoted to my life partner, Silence. We hang out together all the time. He has come around at the right time. If he had come in my 20s or early 30s, I wouldn’t have given him the time of day and he wouldn’t have bothered with the likes of me. But now we’re inseparable :-)

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      You are so very welcome, my friend!

      Haha, I love hearing about how your relationship with the dashing Sir Silence has come to evolve. It’s so touching. And it’s so true, timing has a good deal to do with it, right. All in good time. Sending peace your way – both of you. ;)

      Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello Stan,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such an awesome comment. I love silence, too. ;) He is a very dear friend of mine for all the reasons you so elegantly mention here.

      AND I LOVE both of these songs! Thank you so much for sharing them with links! I was totally grooving with them. You are stellar and I hope you’ll come hang out again soon. ;)

      Until then, wishing you so much peace and light, my friend.

      #SilenceRules

      Reply
  9. Stephanie Ambroise

    I love your writing, how bravely you wade right down to the meat and deeper to the marrow of language and the realities they’re pregnant with. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      I really love that you shared this comment and your beautiful thoughts, dear Stephanie. Thank you so much – it means the world to me. Your choice of words here is stunning and fantastic – thank you for your energy and spirit! Straight through to my heart. I hope you’ll not be a stranger at Glory Begin. ;)

      Sending you so much peace and light, dear one.

      Reply

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