November 23, 2010

Listening to Silence

I love listening to Silence. She is a friend of mine. Never a gossip or a chatterbox, we are quite comfortable together. I usually pick her up at the High School after dropping off my teenager, giving her a ride back into town, the sound of the wheels on the freeway and the hum in my head join our quiet chorus.

    We live well together, Silence & I, in the times my daughter is at her other parents’, the times my lover is at his place. We move through the house together, fussing over the angle of a photograph, the feng shui of a chair. With the stealth of the cat, we pad around, tying back the curtains we agree on sunlight and plenty fresh air.

    My lover is jealous of us, feels threatened by Silence, always trying to come between us, trying to fill the gaps with conversation, fearful that I am somehow bored with him and thus courting Silence. But these are the moments when I feel truly at peace, listening to the hum of the tires as the landscape flicks by, the bubbling of morning coffee before we talk about our dreams, the sound of his breath before gently falling asleep.

    We often have lunch with my Dad, who accepts Silence as my chosen companion, and the three of us are relaxed together in the busy cafe. There is no need to impress each other, to discuss the quality of light, the taste of feta and cranberries in our harvest salads, the feel of the plastic tables pretending to be made of wood. We have already reached consensus in sharing our time together, in noticing the lady wearing her slippers with just an arch of an eyebrow.

    Silence has much to say to me. She whispers in my ear, she whispers in my heart, and she holds all of my secrets safe. I listen attentively, a good pupil, always the student, never the master, as I easily live up to my nick name Rambling Rose, trying to validate oh so clumsily in the places where Silence remains simply, sweetly, softly eloquent.

October 2010