This silence. Is it an aspiration? Is it a fear?
Am I scared of being in such isolation? It seems like it’s good for the soul. Nowadays everyone is so well connected, they scream: “HOW CAN I FULFILL YOU!?!” and we spend so much time with them.
What if a time of reflection is meant to do you good? Some time alone, by the beach. Or alone in the gym, when no one else is watching. Just you. Just the treadmill. Just the mirror. You.
Where the only eyes to gaze at are your own.
Although, it’s almost like I don’t believe myself even as I write those words I know are true. What would I rather do? Go to a place where I can catch up with some buds I haven’t seen and cherish very much or spend some time walking around the park? Both great for different reasons. One for connection, one for some time to breath.
I want that, sincerely. That isolated time. And I’ll try to get it. I’ll try to get it often. I was overwhelmed, both with the plans and with the people. Constantly seeing everyone and having to react to everything overtime because a burden. I don’t complain. I love being connected, but we NEED time alone. Even if we love being with family, co-workers, close friends, skyping with friends long distance — all the above. We need the time to ourselves no matter how deep our social lives go.
You and I both know that at times — everyone — needs to have at least an hour to himself. How long has it been since I was just alone in my thoughts for an hour? Not connected to wifi, listening to music, doing an activity, working, writing, exercising? I can’t think of one. We are always doing something.
In the book, Spirit of Silence by John Lane and Clifford Harper said something that stuck with me since I have read it a year ago:
“Many of the greatest works of thought and art have been born in silence and solitude, the necessary accompaniments of imagination and vision. . . . [W]e cannot know ourselves without the solitude and silence demanded by the soul.” — “The Spirit of Silence”, p. 98
It seems to be true. How many plans have I made that have worked out? They were born out of this place of isolation, coming to terms with who you are emotionally and intellectually, of — more than anything — what you are incapable of doing.
And so it comes down to this, when I have two options: I see this week, I see what it was about. I see the social, the work, the hobbies — I know why I become overwhelmed. What about the time when I read some Bertrand Russell and am able to listen to the waves and ponder their significance in my own existence?
That is of the most essence it seems. As much as I cherish the moments together. When will I get this chance again? The silence, the quiet. The escape. It will not happen very often. There are too many demands from life.
Other quotes I enjoyed:
Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to keep silence, and a time to speak…
Talmud: “The Holy One, blessed be He, said to the tongue, All the limbs of the man are erect but you are horizontal; they are all outside the body but you are inside. More than that, I have surrounded you with two walls, one of bone and the other of flesh.”
Henry David Thoreau: “Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a reverie, amidst the pines and hickories and stomachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sang around or flitted noiseless through the house, until the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller’s wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time. I grew in those seasons like corn in the night” (44).
“To meditate, is to probe with intense sensitivity each glimmer of color, each cadence of sound” (Buddhist scholar Stephen Batchelor, 46).
“We need nothing but open eyes, to be ravished” (Thomas Traherne, 46).
“The destruction of the human race can only be avoided, by finding a new cultural direction in which the spiritual dimension plays the role of guide” (Thich Nhar Hanh, 115).
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Until next time, keep reflecting.