Sometimes silence speaks louder than words -- a look that cuts through to a vein, a verb whose barbs dig deep, seething beneath the surface like a stingray under the sands, waiting, coiled to strike, and again and again after the tears subside.
Sometimes silence has nothing to teach us, sitting numb, cross-legged on a stone floor -- nothing in chanting or meditation with sight shut off. No... nothing waits in the space between some words; that white space where the letters float like driftwood on an ocean or the birds in the trees I beg to bring me honey.
Sometimes silence is a soul on fire, wishing there was a reset button on life; the days you love someone who doesn't love you back, listening to the same sad song on repeat, tearing the pages of poetry from your favorite book and cursing the sky; the days there's no quiet to be found in talking. Sometimes silence screams. Sometimes silence is the hiss of a snake.
And sometimes it's that sound that makes us learn. Without giving voice to those questions nature could never correct us, the deafening roar of experience, of seeking out answers. If I only sat in silence there could be no consensus and no one could disagree and in that way I could never move forward, I could never change. This is why I craft words. Not because I think I'm right or because I see some great truth. I speak and I write because I realize I don't know. I make this noise because I want to find out, and if I said nothing then I would remain as I am, only a wisp in the wind.
Some quotes from Kahil Gibran:
"They say that silence resides in contentment; but I say to you that denial, rebellion, and contempt dwell in silence."
"Does the song of the sea end at the shore or in the hearts of those who listen to it?"
"Deliver me from him who does not tell the truth unless he stings; and from the man of good conduct and bad intentions; and from him who acquires self-esteem by finding fault in others."
"The poet is he who makes you feel, after reading his poem, that his best verses have not yet been composed."
"Art is a step in the known towards the unknown."
"If I knew the cause of my ignorance, I would be a sage."
"I never speak without error, for my thoughts come from the world of abstraction and my statements from the world of reference."
A quote from the Crow:
"Silence makes us strangers to each other..."
This post is a response to my friend and fellow seeker and writer BBC. Many times he has questioned my rational for writing, has asked why bother littering the internet with ramblings and poetry (as he so poetically puts it, "The monkey crap in the ruts of time and space"). And though he may not realize how seriously I've taken his line of questioning it's something I've struggled with myself. Another of Gibran's sayings that I take without a grain of salt is:
"Poetry is a flash of lightening; it becomes mere composition when it is an arrangement of words."
If you follow this line logically one would wonder, why bother writing at all, why bother striving towards the poetic. BBC, I think, is making precisely this point and I have trouble coming to grips with the repercussions of this -- maybe why I've spent so much time formulating this response to him.
I made the conscious choice some time ago to give up on argumentation. I don't believe that anyone will be convinced by a reasoned, premise based argument. I believe that any truth that must be explained is only a half truth. So I've come to believe that no one's belief can be changed except by their choice, by their own self-reflection. And so I close with a question... a question that I'm sure BBC has a poignant answer for:
Why do you write my friend?