Practical silences

There are some seasons in your life that are marked by practical silences.

Silences where you listen, you use other people’s words to communicate, you save your word-crafting energy for survival and sanity.

But sometimes you are thirsty for the times when words used to softly creep into your mind and dance around, just when you were falling asleep, descriptive chains of words like eager children who would rearrange themselves, giggling with the joy of it, and shove each other a bit, until they all settle down into rows of quietness, contentedly waiting for someone to come along and read them. The joy was in the crafting of the prose, and the quiet feeling afterwards, of a job done, a day described, a feeling savoured, a thought turned into recorded knowledge.

Sometimes you use so many words in a day, spill them on ears only half listening, force them out of minds only half thinking, breathe them into prayers half sinking, and at the end of the day you feel allergic to words and you pull the duvet over your head and ask the Lord to speak to you in a gift of energy, a calming of the stitch in your side, in a word that transcends words.

And after a long silence, a practical silence, a word comes here and another there. And soon you can hear them laughing quietly down the hall and you know that when rest comes, the words will come afterwards. Words are shy and they need a mind unplugged to process.

Silence settles over the sea in fog. I wrote that once. I wrote of stillness and stopping and winter and windowsills frosted. A year later, as the windowsills frost again, I write halting but unhurried words.

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