I have been off on a class for the last couple of days and have not kept up my posting. I like to write every morning as it starts my day off raising my vibration much like someone who exercises. I think of it as training for the brain. But I have been silent because of the commitment to this class was very deep and exhausting and also early in the morning.
This class brought a lot of perspective to many facets of my life. I learned a lot of about human interaction which is based so much on what we hear. I am often a talker. I like to communicate and have relied heavily on my ability to talk. Sometimes, especially in the past, I would rely on talking to cover nervousness. What a silly thing to do as I am sure than my inane blathering only introduced me as being very unsure. As a teacher, the first words uttered in your classroom set the stage for how things are going to go. Teachers who start with a statement of being not confident in their knowledge will only produce an ill prepared lesson. I tell new teachers, “remember, they do not know what you do not know.” When I teach, I stand and make my first comments about either myself or the environment, hoping my voice does not give evidence to any nervousness by shaking. I often will prepare something to start an immediate conversation to get the room talking to each other. But this post is about the sounds of silence and that too is very effective in a classroom. I learned this early on in my first high school classroom. When the kids would take control of the room, I would sit back on a table I had at the head of the room and sit and stare at them. One by one, they would slowly shut their mouths and stare back. It might take a bit longer, but the last person talking would end up embarrassed, being singled out by the glares from their classmates. Very effective. Eventually, all I would have to do is sit on the edge of the table and they would begin to shush each other.
I have noticed now that I can barely stand to watch TV. I cannot take the constant onslaught of useless information, even when I like the show. I need to learn to mute the sound more often. Actually, I just stopped watching TV as I prefer to sit outside. My family however, loves the noise. My husband has to have the radio on in the car. I hate his choice of music and all the commercials are like someone taking pokers to my head. Sometimes I reach to turn off the onslaught and he will change the station to something more soothing. He also would leave the TV on 24 hours a day. When I first met him, he and his daughter never shut the thing off and I discovered shortly that his whole family does this. We all get together and shout over the drone of some program. Now because some of the elders cannot hear, the apparatus gets turned off at dinner. I know for a fact that this is the noise that fills the holes that silence brings.
Not all noise is bad or attacks in a negative way. I love music. I like to listen to it and often it will evoke strong reactions in me. A melody filled with pathos strung together by a progression of minor cords will often produced tears. Joyous sounds of harp calm me, while the rhythmic pulses of a good bass and drum will get me doing what we refer to as ass dancing in my chair. Use your imagination. I like to sing and the emittance of music either with my voice or when I play my recorder brings great pleasure to me now; much like a runner would feel after a great run.
But of all the new things that I have learned in the recent months are the sounds that are flowing in silence. Last night, as I do whenever I can now to end my day, I sat outside and listen to the voices in the wind. I had to focus out the sounds coming from the house as of course, my husband was watching TV. He is kind and has learned to keep it soft and I think partially to him the sound is a blur anyways. It is a panacea he is just used to.
The leaves were heavy still from all the rain we had in the day. Their rustling produced drops which I could hear hitting the deck and plants around me. I could hear the dripping still coming from the gutter drain, the rhythm was steady. The tree next door has a lot of dried seed pods and they produced a rattle like the tail of a snake. I could hear the calling of good night from a variety of birds. There was the pesky high pitch whine of a mosquito who thought my ear looked tasty. The wind itself has tones and harmonics all of its own, and one has to focus to hear the different pitches.
My intent in ending my day outside is to calm the inner voices in my head. I have a constant barrage of streaming thoughts that can overpower me if I let them. I have learned, much like I did as a novice teacher, to not give cause to them, and slowly they stop and wait. I pull a single thought, often in the form of a question and toss it in the air. And then I wait for the answer. It took a while to learn to listen for that voice and I still struggle, especially when the question is answered with a response I do not like. It takes a lot of concentration to not muddle the conversation with interjections of my own making. I struggle also with staying focused on the issue at hand and not drifting to a stimulus from an interceding source. Some nights, the answers do not come and some nights they almost knock me out of my chair. When I am tired, the quieting of my mind produces slumber and often I wake with the gentle touch on my shoulder and the sound of “Honey, it is ten o’clock.” But the answer may have come from the visions that passed through my head in a dream.
Some nights the request is for simple calm and often the peace will find me now. Sometimes I ask questions that are too big or broad and will not produce a response because it is too multilayered. I am learning that what-if’s and worries will not be honored and I will be left with only me to continue with that conversation. I allow myself to fantasize with the codicil that it is only that. Some nights I just have to discharge my emotions and will sit and let the tears flow. I often feel like the child who sits on the knee of a parent, feeling the wind and stars embrace me and wait for that final breath of release. There is no judgment from anyone of us. Only the puzzled look from my dog who waits to see if his presence is needed for a final reassuring nuzzle.
There are times during the day when I crave the escaped to the quiet of my backyard. I try to reenact the calm and imagine breathing in the night air. I try to get out at least once a day to walk to the fields next door. As I walk with my friend we often seek the sounds of a pond and we investigate the rattling in the grasses of a snake or a frog. It makes the day more palatable to have a moment of peace and connection of a friend.
I have learned many new forms of communication which I will share in other posts. I am off to start my day. I cherish the silence of the morning, and the opportunity to communicate in this blog. This precious space is only disturbed with the chiming of the clocks reminding me that this gift of time is short lived. I wish all my readers the joy of silence and within the wind may you find the answers you are looking for.