Companionable Silence

Silence is often something I hunger for; it's rarely quiet at our house, and with the tinnitus I deal with, there's an added element of noise I'm always putting up with. Sometimes, the auditory stimulation is more than I can deal with and an intense migraine follows.

So my car is a quiet place, no noise other than the air conditioner at full blast and the sound of the engine. Sometimes drives with Bobby, though, are loud and busy because there are issues we need to deal with or things we need to try to straighten out. Bobby reads books while he waits to be picked up, and sometimes we end up discussing the books and trying to realign what he's taken in with what the book really said. Those conversations on the drive home can be frustrating for both of us.

Other days, we ride along in companionable silence, at ease with each other and just happy to be together, no words beyond the initial greeting necessary. I crave these moments and treasure them when they happen. They are centering experiences where it's just enough to be together and know acceptance.

Our lives are often messy, loud, and chaotic in the middle of trying to create structured, ordered, functional day-to-day routines for our children so that they will have guideposts to anchor them. Sometimes we forget we need the guideposts, too.

The other day, in the midst of cleaning house, I stopped and laid down across my bed and looked at the ceiling. I lay there, looking up at the dark purple, the bed curtains, the flowers hanging, and I stared for awhile before I hollered for the boy to come in the bedroom with my camera. I made him lie beside me and stare up. "Why?" he wanted to know. I told him to just be for a moment and look at that space, that dark purple empty silent space. It was nice. Clean. Quiet. Peaceful.

My house is cluttered, filled to capacity and then some with books, bookcases, and our various collections. It is BUSY. But I realized this weekend that there's peace, there's space, and there's quiet here, too, if you know where to look.

Later I ended up on the bedroom floor looking up and saw that there's really this massive space that's empty. The boy walked in on his way to the bathroom and asked me what I was doing now, and I told him I'd found more space. He shook his head and muttered and went on, but seriously, I've got two thousand square feet of space I'd been missing. I think I'll spend more time lying on the floor looking up. Cats like to come over and see what you're doing and lie with you. They get it. They stay with you in companionable silence, and the peace that comes from knowing that silence, that space, is priceless. Maybe I'll even talk the boy and the girlies in spending some time staring at the ceiling. Quietly, of course.

1 comment:

kathleen said...

Does this mean that there are going to be book shelves hanging from your ceiling? I adore quiet as well..sometimes I wonder if my love of it is due to the fact that I hardly ever get any? You know absence making the heart fonder and all that..:)