Monday, 6 February 2012

The sound of silence


I've decided to try out something new today: being absolutely silent for 24 hours. For the past three weeks I've struggled with losing my voice. The two new classes I'm teaching this term have meant 6-8 extra hours of communication each week. Alongside of this there have been friends here to stay and chat with, many skype conversations with family about important events, debriefing on creative events, a new class for my PhD... and all of this leaves me with a very sore throat and very little voice. It needs some healing, some silence, some no-talk time.

And this has got me thinking about how I communicate with people, how I prefer to communicate versus how I do. For a long long time now I've been in the closet about my dislike of phones. Yes they are useful and sometimes the intimacy of talking with someone whose voice is in your ear even though you can't seem them, can be just the thing at the end of the day, but overall, I don't like talking on the phone! Maybe I over dosed on phone time as a teen. But rarely does a day go by now when I am not on the phone for at least an hour: as usual the landline rings, the mobile rings, skype boo-boo-dee-boos at me if I'm logged in and it all has begun to feel like I just spent my day reaching out of myself to communicate with others. Well...

With my intent on a silent 24 hours I mean to only communicate what I need to. Written communication, my sustenance in life, I will keep an eye on. I was once on a silent retreat where the people attending were wildly gesturing around and mumbling sounds to indicate their thoughts. The woman leading the group reminded us that silence is also stillness and that taking a vow not to talk for however long does not mean we then use every other communication tool necessary to get our message across. And here I am blogging about not talking! This is what has got me thinking, about the over-stretch of communication in my life. I need to find a balance for it, I need to let my vocal cords heal, I need to give my head some silent space too. So I'll see how it goes...

Remarkable Things Today

1. The unmelted snow in my garden
2. My new mint plant on the kitchen windowsill and how delicate its leaves are, how they all reach for sunlight.
3. Lemon and honey, warm and soothing
4. Cats stir-crazy in the house

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