Silence has never been a reality in my life. I'm pretty sure I come from the loudest family on the face of the planet. Recently in an internship interview, I was asked what role I fall into in a group setting and my immediate thought was,
"The volume, of course! Ha!"
When you come from the sassy Italian family I come from, you can't survive in silence. If you don't speak up, your input doesn't matter, because nobody heard you. And I'm not ragging on my family. I wouldn't survive without them...and their voice boxes. When people meet my family, they realize why I am the way that I am. I think that's important for everyone to realize - just how much your previous experiences and environment inform who you are and why you believe what you believe.
Let me tell you a story.
My mom has always been the "cool mom". I always wanted her to chaperone field trips in elementary school - and she even chaperoned my senior prom. We are the Rory and Lorilei of the real world. Well you see, when my mom and I speak to each other, we have a tendency to get really loud. There are countless times when we are trying to get the other person not to listen, but really HEAR what we're saying, and I have to say, "Mom, stop yelling at me!!" to which she replies... "I'M NOT YELLING AT YOU! I'M TALKING TO YOU!"
You get my point.
I've developed an appreication for silence lately. Not out of rebellion of my family or because I'm going through some suffer-in-silence phase. I'm just learning the value silence holds. Actually, I don't even really believe that silence is what we think it is. I don't believe silence is the absence of noise. Sometimes, silence is louder than my mom.
Remember when you broke curfew or snuck out and your parents didn't even yell at you? They were just SO disappointed that they said nothing and the silence killed you?
That's not what I'm talking about.
The silence I'm talking about keeps company with stillness. It is not idleness. It is intentional. It forces you to listen. Even feel.
Today I sat on the floor in my dorm room where my roommates and I have had countless conversations about social justice, nutrition labels, and job interviews and I played my guitar next to the open window. The glare of the sun reflected off the air conditioner and onto my acoustic guitar as I played Bethony Dillon songs. The breeze crept in and I breathed deeply and tasted the air. I felt alive.
And even though I was stills strumming and humming melodies, I knew this was true silence.