By Barbara Sinclair
Silence is something I fell in love with a few years ago.
Deeply in love with.
Life-saving in love with.
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when I put music on the shelf and traded it in for Silence.
My noise-cancelling headphones became my dearest friend, minus the music.
Maybe 15 years of living in NYC, the city that never sleeps, or never shuts up drove me to this thirst for Silence.
Or the fresh grief from a partner just passed, when music was too painful.
I wanted Silence.
I felt its healing power.
Even my newly-honed meditation practice ached for a deeper Silence. And so I added earplugs to my noise-cancelling headphones.
The blue big daddy kind and an eye mask to block out the light, because I found Silence even sweeter in the dark.
At first, all I could hear was the sound of my breath and my beating heart, making me aware.
Was I relaxed?
Was I anxious?
Was I sad?
Sometimes an errant siren or fire alarm or telephone ringing would try to break through my Silence – muffled, but persistent.
One day the miracle of Silence gave me the greatest gift.
In the Silence, I started to hear things and see things and know things.
Sitting in Silence – earplugs, the blue big daddy kind, headphones, eye mask – clutching stones in my hands, just because, I love stones so much.
Last year, on a cold dark day in January, deep in my cocooned Silence and darkness (gone somewhere) I heard and saw the words, “Pink Is Everything”.
These mysterious three words catapulted me back to making art and writing.
“My PINK Bike”, (my muse) says it’s the title of a book I’ve yet to write.
The pink balloons a friend gave me for my birthday hang over my desk now, looking like a bunch of shriveled up testicles, urging me to honor the message I was gifted with and write.
Some messages aren’t as sweet or pink or inspirational.
Some are dark and unwelcome, like seeing the face of my uncle, long dead, and a knowing of what he’d done to me as a young child.
I jolted out of that Silence with a sick feeling in my gut.
Still, grateful for the message, a piece of the puzzle lost – now found.
As I sit typing now, earphones on, no music – I give thanks to Silence,
for helping my words flow,
instead of staying locked up inside,
where they don’t belong.