The problem with words, i find, is that one CAN drown in them.
Which is why i am quite fond of my silent spaces – because, honestly, there is only so much one can output and input in a day. I like to chew on my thoughts: much like a cow working cud. Except that, even in those reflective moment, things are never silent. There are always words or impressions bumping around in ones head…!
Actually – let me be fair on words: THEY don’t overwhelm – its all the inherent emotions, implications, nuances and regulations that are wrapped around them that get me protestingly silent (and potentially misunderstood) at times.
The thing about words (written or said), is that, for all the things actually SPOKEN, there are at least twice the amount of thoughts or impressions casually hanging around in the background, jumping up and down behind you or adamantly tapping you on the shoulder- asking to be put on the table – and it is these little critters that i find exhausting. (NOW add to that the critters around the people with whom one is communicating and all the internal gymnastics going on – glory days!)
You see, words (communication) have a lot to do with trust and there are constant and varying levels of social engagement that one moves in and out of during the day – so one is constantly gauging safety levels (how much to say, how much not to say), playing up the correct responses in ones brain before they take flight into irretrievable space…exhausting.
(I have never been much of a speaker and have often wondered why, so bear with me on this journey as i figure it out)
An acquaintance of mine grew up in a family of speakers. He could not get a word in edge-wise. So, understandably, he is not much of a speaker.
I used to ask my father why the grass was green (or something along those lines) and then invariably found myself fidgetedly stuck to one spot for at least half an hour whilst the explanation slowly unfolded. It would have been comical to juxtapose my internal reactions at that point (i was about 8 or 9 years-old) to what what going on on the inside:
External: Interested nods of head; purposeful, yet deteriorating eye contact; occasional shifting from one leg to the other.
Internal: buckwild screaming and tearing of clothing; swear words. A quick about-turn as I hauled ass to some place far far away:)