Silence & Solitude

During my party, my mentor gave me a present: Tuesdays with Morrie, the book. It was funny because prior to that Saturday, I was actually searching for Mother Goose’s copy because I suddenly had the strongest urge to reread it for some unknown reason. And what do you know, her gift was perfect timing.

My mentor and I really have the same wave length, though I am not as wise as she is, and knowing each other in such an honest,  deep way, I can say that there is this kind of connection between us that is like a communication line, only that there is no need to say anything.

As I was leafing through the book for the nth time, a passage caught me, and I remembered the last time I read it, I was also taken by it. It was about silence.

The book told of Morrie’s class back in Brandeis, where he entered the room and just sat there mum for a good number of minutes, so still and quiet that an uncomfortable weight began to fill the room that made the students fidget and do all sorts of stuff just to make do with the silence.

I guess silence has a way of making us do just that, not just inside a class but anywhere we go to. When things fall to a silent still we get anxious, we fidget, we try to focus on something even completely pointless, like staring at a flying plastic bag like it’s the most interesting thing in the world, just to make up for the silence, to keep us preoccupied.

In the book, Morrie was right. People do tend to be uncomfortable in silence because often they find comfort in all the noise. They are scared shitless of silence. I am like Mitch however, because I could also sit there in complete silence, and not minding at all, reveling in it in fact.

I like silence. For one, it gives me rest, because the world in all its glory is a loud one that just seem to suck out all of your energy with the noises it makes. Silence also keeps me from making stupid mistakes, from saying things I do not mean, from saying things that I will regret saying later, and from saying things that I do not believe in but will have to live with for the rest of my life.

But only a few people are like that. They cannot seem to bear the unspoken words, or the weight the air suddenly takes when people are silent, the way it always happen, that all of the things remaining unsaid just seem to float to the air, making it heavy, giving it weight.

Silence is an interesting thing. In its stillness it makes us understand, and gives us an opportunity to listen to so many things unspoken, to the pounding of our hearts, to the whistle the wind makes when it blows.

It makes us wise by giving us time to think and reflect and finally decide. That when we finally break our silence, the noise we will be making is something that is worth it.

***

Things always change. And it is funny how we try to go against it, because ultimately, no matter what we do, things will eventually change, as they always do. The only problem is, sometimes when they do change, we are not ready. But we don’t have much of a choice do we?

To accept what is already has been, no matter how we feel about it, always ends up a must, for if not we will be left behind. And who would want that right? I do not know if you will agree with me, but as is the case, I feel that it is always kinder to the spirit to leave things behind than to be actually left behind.

It can be painful, especially when we are not ready as I’ve said, but as is in any learning situation, sometimes growth can also be a painful process – acceptance and surrender can be really painful, but that act of letting go is one of the tests of being human that we must all pass. It is not always pretty but more often, it is the only way to go, because it is the only way to be free.

***

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18 thoughts on “Silence & Solitude

  1. Pingback: ABCJKSWY: How Does The Alphabet Go Again? Part 2 | Prinsesa's Anatomy

  2. Ahhhhh….that song I love, love, love! I first heard the Westlife version, then Sarah’s. Sara McLachlan’s lyrics are brilliant!

    I am actually going to buy Tuesdays with Morrie next payday—my friend had told me about this teacher’s story and I really want to read it.

    Silence is very much fine with me. Actually, I like afternoons in the office because there are only six people and everybody does her own thing. I sit down and read, or just think and think, and with that I manage to enjoy myself.

    • i do too, it’s poetry with music. nako bilhin mo talaga i think it is around P270, cheap for what is written inside is gold. i am happy you get your silence. these days i am getting it and i am having a blast.

  3. hehe
    i’m not a big fan of inspirational books

    ewan ko ba
    basta ayoko lang

    but i did read this one
    and i also gave a copy of this book to a friend who lost a loved one

    masamang tao talaga ako
    kasi pakiramdam ko may malisya yun relationship ng author at ng prof nya, eh
    hehe

    happy monday!

    • i’m not sure if it was meant to be an inspirational book right off the bat . maybe it just became inspirational because it inspired people after reading it. and the fact that you read it and gave a copy to a friend proves that LOL

      really you thought about that? your view is very interesting. well have you ever had a mentor of the same gender? if you have not, that maybe the reason why you felt that way about mitch and morrie LOL

    • i especially liked the chapters that talked about money and marriage . i think the magic of that book lies in its honesty. it is a wonderful addition to the literature of being human.

  4. ow boy. havent read tuesdays with morrie. andami daming nagsasabi na maganda yang book na yan. ang nabasa ko pa lang is for one more day.

    hay, wala pa akong time para makapagbasa ng books. kulang pa ata ang 24 hours sa buhay ko. hehe. pero oks lang, pag nagka time ako, babasahin ko yan. at sana may magpahiram sa akin! hehe.

    • i did not like for one more day. you know what if you think like that about your life i suggest you really read that book kasi i was feeling the same way before i first read it but after reading it i had so many realizations that it made me go slower and i kind of liked being slower really, for sanity purposes.

    • i like that description: borderling intro/extrovert. i wonder what it means though LOL i like tuesdays with morrie too i read it over and over. i enjoy the wisdom and honesty it contains.

  5. Silence doesn’t bother me either. Although I’m borderline introvert/extrovert, I get to recharge my batteries during those quiet moments. I need to hear myself think every once in a while.

  6. I bought a copy of Tuesdays with Morrie back in college. They made a TV series based on the book in 1999. Sa HBO yata.

    PS: I love silence too.

    PPS: I’m one of those people who can’t work with music playing in the background. :p

    • wow i think i might want to look for that series kaso baka madisappoint ako because i like the book so much . it is rare to find smart books but are feeling books at the same time and tuesdays with morrie is a good example of such books.

      i think it is because we are analytic people that’s why we love silence. global people thrive amongst chaos for some reason LOL

  7. I’ve only read The Alchemist amongst Coelho’s works. But a lot of people recommended Tuesday’s…, I hope to read it maybe next year? Lol. I have so many pending reads. =)

    There’s this one essay which talks about silence that I really, really like. One part says,

    “We have to earn silence, then, to work for it: to make it not an absence but a presence; not emptiness but repletion. Silence is something more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and the horizon itself expands. In silence, we often say, we can hear ourselves think; but what is truer to say is that in silence we can hear ourselves not think, and so sink below our selves into a place far deeper than mere thought allows. In silence, we might better say, we can hear someone else think.”

    • i haven’t read the alchemist but my mentor and my friends tell me it is good . i have only read by the river piedra i sat down and wept by coelho. it is interesting and presents something new. my friend mon is the one who is a fan of coelho’s books.

      that is a lovely passage. i cannot agree more.

  8. i agree with you, PM, on two aspects: one, the book is really good, interesting, and full of lessons. (you “somehow” said that, right? :-)) and two, silence is indeed an interesting things.

    i happen to see the movie before reading the book. and i have to say that the movie pa lang is so beautiful that, if i remember it right, tears fell down on my cheeks when morrie died. mitch is so lucky to have a professor like morrie.

    and the way i see it, you are lucky to have your mentor, too. 🙂

    • i did not know that there was a movie . i’ m not sure if i want to see it though because i find the book so lovely masyadong mataas ang expectations ko LOL i am blessed to have a mentor. it is a nice way of having family outside actual family.

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