Silence

Silence

.is
a
looking

bird:the

turn
ing;edge,of
life

[cummings]

 

The moment is so dull, I can hear my heart beat.

I like that. You can ask my friends (also, you are my friends)–I’m a let’s-lay-on-the-couch enthusiast. Well, the ones who know me well would be quick to note that if I wasn’t a writer, I’d love to get up on a stage and tell some stories (this is a nice way of saying I’m dramatic). But still. It’s just that–the stillness–that makes me love a dull moment. Dull moments are best with a song, a cup of coffee, a blank page.

This week has been full of undull moments. This week has been what you might call “eventful.” This week has said, “WHAT FUN IS DULL?” That can be fun. Exhibits A, B, and C: A late-night road trip; Decorating a Christmas tree a mere 6.2 feet from my desk (don’t trust those calculations; I’m terrible at math); Laughing anywhere, anytime.

Undull moments can also stop, pound, and break your heart. These moments can stretch you and bunch you up and spin you around until you ache for dullness. Exhibits A, B, and C: An email announcing emergency at a place where many, many people you love are walking around; a $160 fee for unknowingly claiming the wrong parking spot; a tough conversation. In fact, these sorts of things can drive you to call your mom and ask, “Hold me. Also, can I borrow $160?”

See? It’s been a crazy week. It’s been up and down and all around. It’s been…life. But there were dull moments that, this week, seemed so precious. They materialized in front of me the way warm breath is visible in early morning chilled air, and then faded as the day warmed. Some weeks, I long for more adventure. This week, I took solace in gentle moments.

I stole away to the third floor of a building, where conversation is low and empty chairs are many, to read a book and gather all the thoughts I could in an hour. I visited my best friend and sat with her, talking in quiet, hushed tones, and relished in the softness. And I am sitting here now, gently turning the moments of the week over between my fingers.

The moment is quiet. The moment is soft. The moment is dull. I have a song, a cup of coffee, and some words on a page. I can guarantee that this very day will warm. I can guarantee that the ebb and flow of life will continue, and probably also that there will be a stretch of dullness that will leave me searching for some excitement.

But right now–right this very moment–I breathe in. I breathe out. I see my breath lingering in the cold, and it’s so still I can hear my heart tap thump thump thump in the dullness.

And I am not alone.

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” –Exodus 14:14

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