Tuesday 26 August 2014

The Quiet Times

I guess I am one of those people who like to talk. I don’t generally care what I talk about, just so long as there are no uncomfortable silences. I figure that if I talk to people, I will learn a little something about them, about their jobs and about their lives. People are interesting, even the ones that in the end aren’t interesting.

I haven’t always been outgoing and talkative, once I was very shy and introspective. There must have been a point in my life that I decided I would have to change the way I was or at least the way that I appeared. I suppose that in a way we all create the person we are, and how others will view us. I choose to be a guy that never shuts up and tries to make people laugh. The trouble with acting a fool is that people think you are a fool. Most of the time that’s okay, but every now and then it would be nice if they would take you seriously.

I can appreciate silence though. Sometimes it is silence that speaks the loudest and can convey a diverse range of meaning and emotion. There isn’t anything to be added when you are looking at a sunrise or a sunset. It is simply beautiful and takes your breath away. The sunrise lets you see the possibilities that the coming day promises and the sunset puts a positive end on the day whether it was good or bad.

When you go into your child’s room at night when they are sleeping, all you can think of is the love that you have for that child. You can stare at that perfect person for hours and it is easy to forget the mischief they got into during the day. Often you would just stare in quiet disbelief that a kid of yours could be so stupid.

For me, when a machine breaks down it is more a time of quiet than anything else. I have been at the side of the road watching the radiator fluid drain out of the car. I think “How could it do this to me without any kind of warning at all?” Perhaps I think that if I stare long enough and show it how disappointed in it I am, the universe will pull together and solve my dilemma. It often does, but not immediately and seldom without a large injection of money.

Sometimes I will be watching TV and something that our politicians say or do will make me mute. I look on in disbelief and anger, not being able to utter a word of criticism. I do eventually find my voice and then I can use my words.

Really, for all of the books, poems and songs that have been written about love, silence seems to be the best way to describe it. Well, not describe it, more like experience it. When a child does something that makes you so very proud. When a grandchild runs up to you, gives a hug and says “I love you Poppa!” When a young couple will just sit holding hands, watching the world spin around. When you watch your wife sleeping and wonder why in God’s name she still loves you after all this time, in spite of all the stupid things you have said and done.

It is the quiet times when we are in touch with ourselves and the universe.

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