My Fickle Friend


Silence is such a fickle friend. There are times I crave it as if it were the only thing that can offer reprieve from life and there are other times she arrives on my doorstep bearing the gift of fear or apprehension. There are days I want nothing more than my mind to silence so I can find peace, and other days when there is so much silence it feels I will crumble under the weight. My relationship with her can flutter between a welcome arrival to being filled with dread and fear upon her arrival.

Sitting here in a major conglomo coffee shop I would love a few moments of silence, I am overwhelmed by the cacophony for I hear 7 different conversations as Garbage tries to drown them all out with Only Happy When it Rains as it ironically pours outside.  There are other times all the sounds create a silence in my soul; this morning I wandered out to my porch to embrace her, allow the shroud of darkness and silence to refuel my spirit, providing me the courage and strength the face the day ahead and as dawn arrived on a new day, I too was ready to face it.

Silence arrives in many different forms and while there are times I invite her, there are others she arrives uninvited. There are times she shows up with the news of a dear friend who is in pain, agitated, or ill at ease, she can come in times when news of a loved one is in struggle, lost in some fog of despair, she comes bearing a story where the silence is based in shame or guilt, she can come with information of one I care for struggling with periods of great insecurity, self-doubt or anxiety and there are times she comes with loss and grief. When she arrives bearing trepidation, fear and concern are the moments I dislike silence yet cannot leave her waiting on the doorstep to wander off and disturb another.

I understand how silence finds her grip, our need to retreat within ourselves, the need to find a safe place to rest, to not be a burden to others but we are not intended to struggle alone in silence either. I understand some types of silence thrive where trust and vulnerability struggle to survive; some days it take courage to break that silence.. There are times I have walked alone with silence, my only true friend but she is never enough to sustain.  How clear some of these silences are, while others require contemplation to understand the gravity. There are days absence of sound, silence, can scream volumes. I suppose sitting in stillness with her is all I can offer in these times.


“There’s an old voice in my head that’s holding me back. Well tell her that I miss our little talks” 

-Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir, Little Talks



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