Thinking About Silence

Silent sunrise in the back woods.

I have been thinking a lot about silence lately.

The silence that comes when my own screaming voice seems to run out of words.

The silence of women who watch as the government tries to strip us of our voices, our control of our own bodies, our rights to live as equals in a world where men wish to control the power.

The silence of people who watch and support hatred, racism, bullying, inequality rather than speak out in a world where the loudest, squeakiest wheel holds the power.

The silence of my blog, where I write and write, and pour my soul out to reach only the few who choose to listen, who choose to hear.

The silence of my house, where I struggle to find purpose after an adventure full of purpose.

I have been thinking about choosing silence. Choosing not to speak, because it is too hard. Choosing not to defend your beliefs, your dreams, your hopes. Choosing to stand by and let the world continue without you, since your loudest screams and calls do not seem loud enough.

But choosing silence does not work.

I cannot teach my daughter silence.

I have been thinking about the times I have spoken and the times I have not. About the words I have written and the words I can not write.

I have been thinking about what kind of voice I want mine to be.

I have no answers.

But I believe that, if I listen to my own silence, eventually I will find a way to be heard.

Sitting in silence, hoping for some answers.

40 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bornstoryteller
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 15:23:29

    Silence is important, at times, to listen. To think. but, never to have your voice stilled.


  2. Andra Watkins
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 15:25:29

    We can feed our spirits with silence to give our words the power to be heard. I already know you have too much to say, and it matters.


  3. Megan D.
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 15:29:27

    I have had to sit silently waiting for something to happen for the last 7 months. I have had a job of little activity, so silence has allowed me to explore the internal sides of me and find the voice that I have chosen to share (though it can be schitzophrenic at times :).) Silence is an amazing tool for self-exploration and discovering of the life around you. When it’s warm enough in your neck of the woods throw a blanket on the ground, lay down upon it, and simply listen to the Earth breath. She is a magnificent creature and we don’t listen to her often enough.


  4. Deborah Oster Pannell
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 15:49:40

    Hi Lisa,
    I feel your urgency, and your passion. It is so hard not to see things in extreme terms, especially during extreme times… (sigh)
    I hope you can find some peace in the small steps, as it’s never an all or nothing proposition. At least it doesn’t have to be. I agree with Megan. The earth can be a wonderful teacher, if we still ourselves long enough to feel and hear her.
    And don’t worry if people are listening – keep on writing, don’t stop speaking…

    I think you already have the answer: But I believe that, if I listen to my own silence, eventually I will find a way to be heard



  5. benzeknees
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 15:50:06

    I would wish for more silence at home, but less silence on my blog as well. True, I just started & haven’t posted much yet, but my daughter seems to be my only subscriber. So I too have to watch what I say. She is 30 but there are certain truths she does not need to hear, but I would love to use my blog to lay bare.
    Unless you’re going to hurt someone else with something they don’t need to hear, don’t let yourself be silenced! A few small voices together can work wonders – look at the internet boycott the other day – we let the government know we did not support their bill & they listened.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:54:08

      Give it time, you will find followers. You are doing just the right thing. I was about to follow you, but I couldn’t find the follow button. I’ll do it soon, I promise.

      By the way, I don’t think there are any truths your daughter doesn’t need to hear. I don’t know her, but speaking as myself, I would have welcomed a little more understanding of my mother at any age. Don’t silence yourself.


  6. winsomebella
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:03:18

    Every now and then, the answer comes roaring out from among the silence. I hope that happens for you.


  7. Barbarann Ayars
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:05:46

    You are silent for a reason, and a purpose. But you are not empty. The problem is the opposite: you are filled to the brim and so you cannot find the starting place. The contemplative knows time is a continuum. Your work is to be still. That is very hard for any of us Who love the tool of words. Words and how to use them make us real. Simply wait. It will cone when it is ready and you cannot force it. Oh, you can talk, but you still feel the frustration of things forced. Wait. And yes, it is grand advice to throw yourself on Nature’s ample bosom, cold though it might be, and listen through the silence to the place and the heart that nurtures us even when we don’t know it. The magic of it is that you will, I so promise you, hear a very familiar voice. Listen to it.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to grow into the new lessons you have learned. You are building the next phase of Lisa. That does not happen with a wrinkle of the nose. Take a walk. Sit in the sun. Cocoon in your bed. Find an ocean. Leave your latest treasure to grow in the dark place until it matures into the light. Do not skip this step! Lastly, lean on your friends. That would be all of us here at your blog. And count your blessings. You so recently touched the world.


  8. Kathryn McCullough
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:18:03

    Wow, Lisa, the writing in this post is stunning. It’s amazing how beautifully you write about being quiet. Clearly, you have found your own voice in that silence, because this post, my friend, sings! Loudly. Brilliantly.


  9. Tori Nelson
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:36:16

    Oh Lisa, most people who’ve met me PRAY I find silence…. and lots of it 🙂 I’ve been in that spot before, believe it or not, when there isn’t the exactly right thing to say so saying nothing seems to be the best path. Wait for the words, Miss Thang. They always come back!


  10. thelifeofjamie
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 17:05:09

    silence can be your best friend or your worst enemy. just depends on how loudly it speaks.


  11. thepetalpusher
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 17:35:22

    I like wandering around in my own silence. In this respect, I have time to sort my thoughts, prioritize them so to speak. You just have to sort out all your experiences before you can voice your next move. It’ll come.


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  13. jakesprinter
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 19:13:31

    I love your thoughts 🙂


  14. Robin Hawke
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 19:17:55

    Trust the silence, for you–it sounds as if it is only a prelude to chimes, Robin


  15. nathan010
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 19:25:54

    And then there’s the time you do speak and no one listens.


  16. Elyse
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 20:36:17

    You just need a balance. Loud and quiet, talk and listen, laugh and cry. That’s what makes a good life.


  17. Victoria-writes
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 12:23:32

    Sometimes you need silence. You need to reflect and just be. But don’t be afraid to be heard, your words are important. Don’t force or rush change, it will happen when you’re ready.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Jan 25, 2012 @ 12:25:23

      Thanks Vicky. I’m just struggling at the moment. But I am so impressed with you leaping forward and pursuing your passion, and knowing it is right (or write). I am very unclear of my own goals at the moment, but hopefully silence will help me discover them.


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  20. ifiwerebraveblog
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 11:25:06

    Silence is key. Without it you can’t hear your own voice telling you where you ought to go, or that where you are is where you belong.


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