Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Silence: Golden or Broken?

Ever hear of the phrase, "Silence is Golden"?  Yeah, I have too.  There is so much meaning in silence.  I often quote a line from Bambi when my children go flying off at the mouth on what they observe.  "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  They are so familiar with the saying, they often say it with me.  In this case, if you don't have anything positive to say about a person - whether it’s true or not - it's best to just be pleasant by not saying anything.  Is this the golden silence?

According to The Phrase Finder, this is what is meant.  In fact, they go into the history of that saying that can be dated back to Ancient Egypt.  Even that civilization knew to keep some things to themselves to keep the peace.  Once a word is spoken, it can't be taken back.  Even the Apostle Paul berated the women for gossiping and indicated it best they remain silent in the church; he knew what stirring the pot with gossip could do to undermine the workings of the church, even in its infancy.

I often default (well, let’s not say default, how about frequently) to silence in order to collect my thoughts, judge my emotional response to something, judge my responses as appropriate for the time and people hearing them, or simply to just collect the general ambiance of a place and the people in it to mull over later.  Our experience in this life is abundant with scenes that affect us.  Do we ever stop to contemplate what in our environment is driving us?  Maybe some quiet reflection is all that is necessary to help us to develop our own thoughts and responses outside of what we believe is “norm”.  We are so driven by society’s norm, that maybe just a little cerebral workout is necessary to change the “norm”.

But, society often dictates for us what is normal.  Silence can be construed as rude, or hiding something.  It can be considered a manipulative tactic.  And it can push labels off on individuals: snob, dumb, weak.  And those labels are stuck on there with this amazing adhesive called “words”.  Someone said it, someone heard it; therefore it must then be true.  Once a word is spoken, it can’t be taken back.

There are so many forms of silence.  There is the silence of nature.  Ever just sit back and listen to the silence of a sunset?  It’s wonderful beyond words. 

I love the silence that ensues after my children have gone to sleep and all the electronics are off in the house.

I enjoy the silence of prayer and meditation; it seems like I can hear my own thoughts more clearly in those times, but I also feel like I can hear the universe in those moments.  When the two don’t match, time to shut down the mind and slip into the universal quiet to reconnect. 

There is also the unfortunate silence of death.  We will miss those who have slipped into this silence.  But their laughter and voices live on in our memories.  In silence, we can hear them more clearly.

I try to write in silence, but I find that I just can’t.  Music inspires my rhythm and generates sparks of electrical current from brain cell to brain cell until they all connect and I’m into the flow of writing practically nonstop.  One-way flight to 1,000 words, please, and thank you.  And I have to admit, sometimes I can’t get to sleep in silence.  I have the TV on with the timer set so it won’t go all night, or I have my guided meditation CD in my computer going as I listen to Esther Hicks soft, melodious voice as she delivers Abraham’s message of the Laws of Attraction.  That’s a positive-thought process of creating your own destiny.  It has nothing to do with come-hither looks to brawny men.

What do you do in silence?

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Diana Murdock said...

What do I do in silence? I "be." I look for any opportunity to have silence surround me. I can't remember the last time I turned on the radio in my car. That's one of the few times I can let my thoughts go wild without a voice penetrating my space. I love silence under the stars. The connection through silence is an open pipeline to the Universe. For me, silence is very, very golden.