An Apology to All the Things I Never Said

silence

There’s something about silence. Just, just stopping for a minute and not saying anything or preaching anything or relaying anything. It hits me hard from time to time—sometimes several times in a day; mid-conversation my lips close down for a while, just like that. Of course that’s not polite so I do try to resist it, try to force the words out, finish the sentence, but then I give up knowing it’s futile.

There’s something poetic about things not said, thoughts and witticisms kept to yourself, the decision made at the very last minute, barely managing to avoid saying it out loud. I suppose it’s odd to witness that. I look up and see the person and open my mouth to say something but then I just…can’t. So I close it back down after repeated attempts at forming the words and bask in the sense of relief and comfort that gives me. I’m not a quiet person. I laugh loudly and shout out random things with no regard for the peace of mind of those around me. But then I have these moments, where I just don’t want to.

There’s a beauty in silence. Secrets, small and inconsequential, held close for no other reason than for the sake of a secret. You don’t intend for it to be one, in fact your mouth begins to form the words and you have every intention of saying it out because it’s a simple every day sentence but then something takes over: a blanket, cold and exhausting and you fight it for a minute and then realize you like it. It’s kind of perfect.

There’s something strange about silence. You’re drained in a second and just can’t speak and the mere act of not speaking makes things brighter. It’s like taking a break from all the words spilling forth, taking your voice out of the millions floating about—it, it has this sense of joy. It seems silly, I know. And I don’t know whether I’m making any sense to you, but there’s just something about silence. Not necessarily a long one, but just a minute or two where you just stop and don’t. It seems so obvious–just not speaking–but in that moment of unusual silence you realize it’s not a thing we do.  We don’t not say things—we have to force ourselves to not say things. Why is that? Why is there this need to say it all? Small things about the temperature of your coffee or the pebble in your shoe, the homework you didn’t do and the chirpy ‘how do you do?’ Why would we want to say those things? But not saying them seems…weird? Why not say those things—those things are meant to be said. But we never know if they actually are. It comes naturally to us: babble on about new movements and trips and families; say hi and launch into a conversation. I can do that when I actually do manage to fight against the need for silence. I’m a talkative person and I give off hyperactive vibes. I was a hyperactive child—I never shut up, buzzing from this place to that, questions after questions. Maybe that’s why I like my silences.

There’s something transient and perfect in not saying things. I can’t explain it, it’s just this feeling. This wondrous, overwhelming feeling arising from something so mundane. It seems normal and obvious to not say things, really there’s nothing new or ground-breaking to it when you think about it. But we don’t think. We speak. About small things or earth-shattering epiphanies, things you just have to say out loud.

I like my secrets. They’re not secrets but they are things I don’t tell people. Normal things I mean to tell somebody become secrets while I’m in the middle of telling them. The blanket comes over and I open my mouth and look about strangely and just stop. I don’t suppose I make sense right now

But there’s something about silence; about little words kept to yourself, deep within your heart. Words that you otherwise wouldn’t, but then snatch up in that moment and hold on to them because you like the way the sun glints off of them or the echo they make in your head.

Tiny secrets, salty and light and crisp—like sea breeze and the crunch of dried leaves.

Yours Truly,

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