I’m writing these words knowing that people from all over the world are going to read them.
People of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different religious beliefs.
Most of you, I’ll never get a chance to meet.
Most of you, I don’t know how you look like, what’s the thing you want most in this world, or what is it that you’re afraid of… most of you are perfect strangers to me.
Yet, simply by writing these words with you strangers in my mind, having the certainty that my words will reach you, you become a little bit more than strangers. You become human beings, just like myself, and that is one of my life’s greatest achievements.
So I write;
I believe that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy.
We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash.
We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure….I’m lonely….I’m a failure….I’m lonely…) and we become monuments to them.
To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras.
It took me a while to drop into true silence. To truly feel the need not to speak at every opportunity give.
But even after I’d stopped talking, I found that I was still humming with language.
My organs and muscles of speech – brain, throat, chest, back of the neck – vibrated with the residual effects of talking long after I’d stopped making sounds.
My head shimmied in a reverb of words, the way an indoor swimming pool seems to echo interminably with sounds and shouts, even after the children have left for the day.
It took a surprisingly long time for all this pulsation of speech to fall away, for the whirling noises to settle.
Maybe it took about six or seven days.
Then everything started coming up.
In that state of silence, there was room now for everything hateful, everything fearful, to run across my empty mind.
I felt like a junkie in detox, convulsing with the poison of what emerged. I cried a lot. I prayed a lot.
It was difficult and it was terrifying, but this much I knew – I never didn’t want to be there, and I never wished that anyone were there with me.
I knew that I needed to do this and that I needed to do it alone.
Again, please don’t think that I’m giving you moral advice, or that I’m saying you are supposed to think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it.
Because it’s hard.
It takes will and effort, and if you are like me, some days you won’t be able to do it, or you just flat out won’t want to.
But I had to, I had to shut up! And I thought it was worth sharing this experience with you 🙂
Subscribe to Asklychee via email