“I want to write a novel about silence. The things people don’t say.”
— Virginia Woolf
Some of us talk enough to fill volumes. We expound on so many different topics and fill the air around us with words. Yet so many of them are empty. We refrain from saying what’s really going on inside. When it comes to being vulnerable, we become silent at best. By this, I don’t necessarily mean that we don’t show emotion. I could talk for hours about things that make me weepy or make me angry. Those things for many are merely the scab with which we cover our wounds. So often when we cry or rage, we are not doing it about the topics that really matter. More often it means that someone has come close to a vulnerable area and we are desperately holding up signs that say “Here there be dragons” in the hope either that someone will either back off. Perhaps we have a greater hope that they won’t and that they can whether the emotional smokescreen to expose the injury beneath and thus offer healing. Yet we pull back and hold those areas in silence. Yes our speech may fill volumes but our silences can fill buildings.
“What I am in search of is not so much the gratification of a curiosity or a passion for worldly life, but something far less conditional. I do not wish to go out into the world with an insurance policy in my pocket guaranteeing my return in the event of a disappointment, like some cautious traveller who would be content with a brief glimpse of the world. On the contrary, I desire that there should be hazards, difficulties and dangers to face; I am hungry for reality, for tasks and deeds, and also for privation and suffering.”
— Hermann Hesse
Things to do when you’re daring (getting out of the comfort zone):
Live in a strange city or country for a time. Extra points if the language spoken there is not your own or one you know
Take any viewpoint that you have held on to whether it is moral, political or religious and try presenting yourself as believing the opposite even to yourself. This will help change your mindset.
Spend time with the elderly if you are young or with teenagers if you are getting up there in years.
Dress in a totally different style then you’re use to and go out. Notice how people react to you. How do you feel different?
Explore your sexuality
Camp out in the woods for a week. Especially if you have never done it before.
Think of the last three people who hurt you badly. Make an active attempt to see where they were coming from.
Think of the worse thing you have ever done in your life and forgive yourself.
Adopt a different culture or social class for a week
Tell someone you love how you feel about them. There are very few times when we’re more open and vulnerable than that.
Remember that life is a banquet with lots to offer and most people only eat from one small area. Try to do one thing every day that you have never done before.
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, No. This is what’s important.”
— Iain Thomas
Most days my distractions have distractions. People either message or call or show up wanting me to make their priorities my own. I like to be helpful and to feel included so way too often I say yes or take the time and my own projects fall by the wayside. Not that I can blame others for all of this. The world calls to me and I long to partake of it. Things grab my interest and I follow their siren call. This can be a new website or a new area of endeavour or sometimes just pretty pictures and Face Book statuses. Sometimes in trying to cover as many directions with my awareness as possible I find myself not accomplishing anythng. Yet my heart will always be in far off fields or friends in low and hi places and pictures of natures or sunsets or of beautiful guys and girls or anyone of a number of other things. Still I can learn to say no to the world. As long as in doing so I don’t end up saying no to myself.
“The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.”
— W.E.B. Du Bois
Transformation continues to fascinate me. On the one hand we all have infinite potential with infinite possibility to change and grow. On the other hand most transformations are surface. We can change our appearance, our lifestyle and our beliefs but all of those are masks that cover up who we are at our inner core. The best changes of course are the ones that bring us closer to that inner core, our true being. Yet how can we know what will do that unless we are willing to experiment and explore and allow ourselves to see which things may resonate the most.
So I resolve to learn and try everything possible. I will indulge in life’s banquet and partake of any outlook or activity that speaks to me and never refrain from trying something I never have before. We each owe it to ourselves to live a life of becoming until our time is done.