The plan was to write. The plan was to heal and grow. The plan was to accept the hurt I was about to deal, and the hurts I might feel by the needle and thread in my own hand. Plans change when the noise stops and all you can do is listen.
The silence here has been … well. You don’t know what noise is until you seek out the silence and that is all you ever hear. I sometimes wonder if I speak to Zephyr, my wax plant, just to break the silence now and then. Sometimes in the middle of the night the silence is broken by what seems like a giant person slamming a giant door that shakes the entire building. Those times are rare and my eyes open not in fear, but I emerge from mild sleep and look at the pale orange rectangles on the wall that show me nodding tree branch shadows. Silence returns. The loudest sound I hear is the tinnitus earned from too many concerts without hearing protection. Guess I never believed it could happen to me, this thing where I hear your voice but not your words. Now the constant sound of raining bells in these two silent rooms are my loudest company. Sometimes the loudest sounds are my fingers touching keys or hot water pouring from the faucet for my bath. I rarely break the silence with my own voice, and I rarely want the silence broken. I never knew how much it meant to be able to slide the bedroom window open and hear branches chiming on branches in their midnight wind dance…and nothing else.
The plan was to listen to my body. To hear what it needs to tell me so I can either honor it with good things or pollute it with chemicals, bad habits, negative thoughts, or stasis. Sometimes I take the entire day stopping to ask my body and senses, “What does this feel like? What does this sound like? How does this taste? How am I feeling just now? Why?” I write those things down because if I can’t tell you that the clean, bright taste of lemon in cold water makes my mouth pop, how can I ever describe it to anyone else?
All very nice things for a writer to experience in between bouts of laundry or wiping up the stove top after dinner. All very serene, privileged tools in my shed. Until we pick up a book and it challenges everything we thought we understood or wanted to understand. I wanted to read it so I could know what all the “noise” was about, why was it so important to everyone, it seemed? I spent the entire day yesterday reading it, and at its conclusion asked myself if I have been asking the right questions all this time. A friend sent me an article that reminds us that a wave breaks at precisely the right moment, that only it knows when it is time. I doubt I could have read this book with open eyes until now.
I could name drop and say, “Oh it was this book by this author.” It might add a hit or two to my stat counter, make me look all intellectual-like. That would bother me on so many levels and the bottom line is that it’s less than truthful or helpful–to anyone–to do so. So why bother bringing it up, anyway, if I’m not going to be candid about it, I mean, it meant enough that I spent a whole day with it, then took the time to blog a few notes here, what was the point? The point is that it gave me perspective. It gave me powerful reading that I hope will lead to powerful writing. I haven’t the sophistication, the intellect, the background, NOTHING in my arsenal, at this moment, that allows me to make a meaningful comment about the book I just read. However. It allows me to question my perspective and ask if I am asking the right questions. What might happen when we all start seeking new perspectives, asking better questions, carrying the light so we can see enough to take the log from our own eyes that we might understand how a speck came to be in our neighbors? Yes, I misquoted just there, but that’s how it feels right now, a log in my own eye, my heart, my understanding.