I hate silence. I suppose you could say it’s ironic considering that’s what my name means. I could have written so many things this last week. I had all this time because my kids spent most of the week at their dad’s. But the silence was too oppressive. It felt like a weight pressing into my chest, slowly getting heavier and heavier, about to crush my sternum at any second. So I’d watch TV or turn on loud music to distract myself from the lack of noise, from the fact that I was alone . . . feeling so lonely and empty. I thought about writing, but I couldn’t do it. Even now, I want to keep typing. Any time the click of the keys stops the silence threatens to suffocate me.
There have been many times in church I’ve heard people talk about the necessity of silence, of finding time to block out all the noise and listen for the whisperings of the Spirit. This doesn’t work for me. The Spirit doesn’t speak to me in the silence of my room. Obsessive thoughts come in the silence—that’s why I hate it. Without any noise, my mind can’t help but run over all those worst-case-scenarios I sometimes fear or replay all of my obsessive thoughts that threaten to consume me. So I can’t be one of those people who goes into my room to escape the noise. I need the noise.
Nature is a place that brings me comfort, peace, the ability to tune in to the Spirit. It is quiet in nature, but rarely ever silent. This afternoon I drove out to Antelope Island, on the Great Salt Lake, and experienced one of these needed moments of solitude where I, yet, didn’t feel alone. It was quiet, but not silent. A father spoke to his children, tall grasses rustled in the breeze, a hawk called to another. Distraction was lifted from my mind, loneliness forgotten.
Music is a necessity in my life. I have found answers to many prayers through music. I have felt peace, comfort, understanding—the Spirit—through music. The most spiritual and personally sacred experience of my life happened one day while I was out in Nature listening to a song by Live. It is an experience seared into my memory and my heart, one so personal I have only shared it with a couple of people.
Some people crave the silence. For some it is useful, helpful, needed. I am not one of those people. I will take the quiet stillness of nature, but I will also take the loud beating of drums and the chatter of my children.