“When You Say Nothing At All”

I have to be up in a few hours.

It’s more than likely the reason I can’t sleep.

I thought at first it was because I’ve had a gnarly head cold the past couple of days. Or it’s because tomorrow I snuggle my babies off before school.

But the truth is, I simply have too many things jumbling around and when I can’t sleep, a writer does what writer’s do best. They write about it. It, in this collective case, is all the things I thought I should, or could, say but I’ve found something more powerful than words – when you say nothing at all.

“You say it best … when you say nothing at all,” Alison Krauss

Tonight, I caught up with a good friend who let me in on a new musical series she’s launching. An opportunity for people to sit and just get lost in the music. A space so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. The series would feature the voice of the musician. The notes of the song. A room with such dense acoustics, the audience is permitted to only take in what the artist has to offer. The sounds of silence.  I love it.

What is it about silence that we so desperately seek and crave?

The fact of the matter is that we fill our everydays with traffic. From meetings, to lectures, to classes, to parenting, to Social Media. We are absorbed by the cackling of the television, and the frequency of the dial. We jump to a notification from our phones. And we leap to grab that call. We are immune to silence. We are consumed by sound, and noise, that even our own thoughts get washed away in the conversation of our daily lives.

What happened to silence?

And then it becomes more than that. It becomes the gentle caress of a loved ones fingers brushing your hair as you both huddle in for a good night’s rest.

It’s the unspoken sanctity of a little one crawling into your lap when they’re not feeling well; you immediately understand their signals of security.

Remember the time her breath on your neck caught the attention of your entire body? Remember the flutter your heart felt when his hand touched yours?

Silence is power. Without saying anything, you can speak more in silence than a laureate could sonnet in a thousand read couplets.

Silence is deadly. You can reveal your character without uttering a spoken word just by the expression written in your eyes and on your soul.

Silence is necessary. When the axis of the world turn out of place, some nights you’ll beg for silence to drown out even the most remote of thoughts from your weary heart.

For me, the silence is resonating. I lose myself in the hours where I have only myself to rely on for conversation. In the days I’m stocking shelves, changing over the laundry, driving down the 401, working on show prep. Some days, I don’t speak out loud at all. The TV never turns on. I don’t crank out a drop of music.

Some days, I invoke silence like a spirit I’ve called home to console.

And what can you do with silence?

The answer is everything. You can find yourself. You can mediate your thoughts. You can reflect on your character. You can make decisions, and you can decide not to make decisions at all. But mainly – you can be quiet and let the traffic around you mute away to a dull roar that barely whispers.

You can sit in silence and hold on to the last thing that is yours – you.

In a world that hangs on your every word, demands your attention, calls for your commands, and desperately waits for the next thing you say – find silence. Find a way to say nothing at all. Find a way to reserve it for yourself. Give yourself permission to bask in the silence and the sunshine and the state of peace you so rightly deserve.

You might find that you say, speak, sound much louder when you say it with silence.



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