When was the last time you were silent?
Not in the sense that you were listening to someone and for that interval you said nothing, but truly silent. That feeling of calm emptiness both because there’s nothing on your agenda that demands your urgent attention and because you’re completely actively unengaged – no phones, no conversations, no thoughts.
I can’t remember the last time I was silent. Perhaps it was in an age before Uninterrupted Power Supply and smartphones. On evenings when mum wasn’t back from work but the power had gone out. I’d carefully make my way to the kitchen and feel around for one of the candles, guided sometimes by the moonlight streaming in through the meshed window, sometimes merely by touch and a mental memory of the kitchen layout. And once it was lit, I’d sit and look at it. The flame was always beautiful to look at. Sometimes I’d poke my finger into it rapidly and sometimes just place my palm a little over the tip of the flame – foolhardy actions of a young boy and yet, some of the most fun I remember having. And after I’d had my fun, I’d just sit in front of the candle and slip into a daze of conscious nothingness. I’d look at the wax dripping, not really paying attention to it. And for that remaining period of 20 minutes to an hour – while waiting for the candle to die out or the power to return, all that was there would be peaceful silence.
This thought bubble about silence isn’t going to end with a plan to simulate that state of being. Because I think I’m far too down the road of continuous stream of random thoughts to try and muster silence in my brain.
I’ll settle for a state of perpetual satisfaction.