It is a fact of life that it's hard work to do things that are good for us. It is an even harder fact to swallow to actually do things that are good for us consistently, no? Perhaps it's just me and I'm projecting although deep down, I suspect not. Journalling, keeping a diary, writing down memories, stories, snippets of conversations, to do lists, life dreams and goals, these are things that I have done for as long as I can remember. They are the things that keep me sane, that make my life feel balanced, an act that allows for the overspill of life to be filtered and channelled correctly, so that the sewage doesn't seep into everything else. I know this. This is an act that is good for me, it tends to my needs and yet, it's one that I stop and start, one that I abandon.
In the times of abandon, I pretend that I have no need for her. This act, this ebb and flow of words, this rhythm of thinking and of telling, of collecting and storing of spoken word and actions, whispers and shouts of comings and goings, of memories and events, of correcting and of marking of occasions. All of it gets abandoned and I feel a pit in my stomach. With the passing of time, that pit grows and festers and begins to feel like a goading in my ribcage, it builds and builds albeit slowly, very very slowly. It is stealthy too, I hardly notice the robbery taking place until one day I open the safe and it is empty, so very empty. I am able in these times to convince myself that I have no need for the contents that once filled that safe, the contents that I had previously and so carefully gathered. Eventually though, I hanker for them, one by one, piece by piece. In those moments, I realise I have once again, lost it all. All of it.
So I wait and ponder, wait and ponder, wait and ponder. Till the pondering turns to sulking, then over time to waiting until it trudges along at an abysmal pace and faces the door marked denial and surrender. I've waited here for some time not sure whether to open the door and head in to the party of dispute or whether to just turn around and knock on a different door and simply stop being so dramatic.
The drama I can handle since I know it has a cosy home inside myself but the silence, the silence kills me. It makes me weak and afraid. The silence is not the same as the quiet, no. The silence is the ill kind, like when you have to keep quiet to avoid trouble, serious trouble. There is no trouble here, I finally hear her say. 'Listen for the quiet, it is safe now. I chased away the silence' she says. I breathe and listen and wait and ponder. And wait and ponder. And wait and ponder. Till the time comes and just like that it spills from me and it's just not as hard as I thought it would be all of those times.
It is hard to do the things that nourish us, it is a discipline to commit to doing them regularly, consistently. It is a discipline to prioritise, to nurture and grow and spill and ponder. So sometimes I wait. I pause. And that's okay too but the silence, no. No more. She is banished. I cannot guarantee that it's for good but silence is banished for the time being and I am all ears for the quiet. All ears.