“Fools,” said I, “you do not know. Silence like a cancer grows.”

The best way to measure the strength of a relationship is to weigh the silence. This is the age of communication, wives demand to know what their husbands are thinking, husbands are struggling to put their emotions into words, parents pull their hair out trying to relate to their children and spend countless moments searching for familiar ground.
This is the “talk it out” brand of society. “Use your words” we are urged, speak your mind, let your feelings out, step out of your shell and be heard!
BOLLOCKS. I think the world should just shut the hell up sometimes.

Awkward silence. Or mutual contentment?

Communication is rabid. Even our most recent advancements as humans are centred around communication. Finding new and better ways to stay in touch is the science of the day. The mad rush is on to find the best way for us to communicate with each other.

I do not own a cell phone. I do not want to be available to anyone at any given time of the day. I do not want to be accessible to all, this would leave me nothing to talk about when we are in fact, in each other’s company. Yes, obviously, I own a computer, but for the most part, it’s not for communicating, it’s for personal research. I love to learn, I love to read, I love to investigate every angle. The computer, the internet just makes my loves more immediate, more readily available. Twenty years ago, I used to write myself lists of things to look up on a microfiche film or in an encyclopedia on my next trip to the library. Now, I just point and click and read to my heart’s content. I barely use my computer to communicate with others. Facebook the odd time, usually when I remember to check it, and my blog du jour, which at the moment, happens to be this one.

I prefer NOT to be in touch with everyone in my life at every moment of the day. Because I think communication is overrated. I like the comfort of silence in the company of those who are important to me. Sitting down beside my child, and just simply existing in the same space, without any pretense of “making conversation” is far more important to me then learning the latest teen lingo so we can pretend to be on the same level. Knowing my husband well enough to NOT have to hear the words come out of his mouth is far more productive than haranguing him until he is able to piece the words together that he thinks I want to hear. I love that we can co-exist in the enveloping blanket of peace and quiet.

I carry this need for comfortable silence on into my daily life. I won’t keep a friend for long if the void is filled with awkward silence. When I notice a friend struggling to carry on a conversation, that friend quickly becomes nothing more than an acquaintance. I can’t comprehend maintaining a relationship that can’t survive without abstract communication. Even here, in this space, I’m drawn to blogs that have the potential to leave me speechless. There’s been quite the conversation going on in the forums about commenting on blogs and what would stop you. At times, I’m just so in awe of the writer’s emotion and content, that my response would just be redundant and unnecessary. It would just be me, filling an awkward silence and I would prefer to just wallow in the connection the writer made with my emotions. Perhaps, that is hard for some writers to understand, having poured their hearts into a blog post, poem or story, after all, we communicate to be heard.  We have something to say, and it’s nice to know there’s someone listening, that our thoughts have not just gone amiss. But what of the silence? As someone whose ALWAYS got something to say, I covet the moments that make me clam up.

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5 Comments

  1. willowbatel said,

    April 9, 2010 at 2:58 am

    “Awkward silence or mutual contentment?” YES exactly. People FREAK OUT when it’s quiet but I’m just fine with it. When there isn’t anything to say, don’t say anything. Most of the time I’m quiet, which I think freaks people out. I’m so glad someone thinks about silence the same way I do though.
    This is a beautiful post and encompasses a lot of my own thoughts about silence. Like you said, saying more would be redundant, so I’m finished.

  2. April 9, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Perfectly said! Too many people try to fill awkward silences with absolute crap.

  3. Diane said,

    April 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Aha. I see that you and I are very similar. (Except I do have an iPhone but only use its phone parts in urgent cases.) You got my attention right off the bat with the S & G lyrics, btw.

  4. April 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I am posting companionable silence x

  5. Sam said,

    May 11, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Well said, miss. Enjoy the silence.


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