—Written by Joe Brennan
The Intimacy & Language of Silence
noticed that my lady love and I have spent countless hours in
conversation and far fewer hours together intimately shrouded in total
silence, embraced lovingly by a peaceful nothingness that allows us to
explore our own souls without distraction.
While many of us
engaged in conversation try to avoid uncomfortable silent pauses, the
intimacy of silence is comfortable, joyously shared, and a communication of love between us.
To quote Susan Sontag:
"Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech."
Or, to quote Paul Simon in his song, "Silence":
"The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence."
The title of this post, "The Intimacy & Language of Silence," occurred
to me during a deliriously delicious silence between us during a daylong drive. However, I have since searched the Internet and found many
references to this topic.
I like the following from a Doug Toft blog:
"To sit in silence with other people is one of the most intimate experiences imaginable.
Most of the time, we deprive ourselves of that intimacy. We avoid silence in social gatherings. It creates discomfort. If there’s a gap in
conversation, we try to fill it with small talk about sports. Politics.
Work. Weather. Something. Anything.
The problem is, we dissipate a lot of energy in this way. If you’re willing to endure shared silence
for a few minutes, you’ll discover that on the other side of discomfort
is something oddly beautiful.
The people you are most intimate with are the people who are most willing to be silent with you.
One mark of people who have loved each other for decades is the capacity to sit with each other for hours—in silence."
Perhaps 'giving someone the silent treatment,' like so many words and phrases
in English, can evolve into the opposite of its current definition and
negative connotation and become a blessing.