I live in a world of silence. Silence so profound, it beats upon my eardrums and screams at me until I fear for what is left of my sanity. It is all I can hear. It is the voice of my nightmares.
It is a silence nearly complete. Almost unbroken. It consumes everything in its path.
Within my world, an overpowering silence reigns. My dogs occasionally bark. My phone infrequently rings or a text announces its arrival. Rarely, I play music or turn on the TV to try to drown out the droning voice of the persistent emptiness that envelops me. I have been captured and am held a prisoner in this intensely silent world. This place of nothingness.
There is no one to talk to other than my dogs and they don’t have much to say in response. There are no conversations, dangling or otherwise. No laughter. No chatter. No friends who want to get together. Nothing to break the stillness or to challenge the powerful quietness.
I occupy myself by reading books, playing with my two dogs, poking around on my laptop. I post on Facebook and long for responses so I can convince myself I have friends. Connections. I write my blog. You can hear the tapping of the keyboard as I type, the distant traffic noises and children playing in the street outside the window providing minimal relief from the deafening, endless, pulsing silence. In spite of these brief intrusions, there is a prevailing quietness to my existence that presses down on me, forcing the air out of the room. Leaving me gasping and longing for a reassuring word or touch. Suddenly, I see clearly, painfully aware of how utterly alone I am.
A small dose of silence can be good for the soul, providing time to reflect, to examine new thoughts and ideas, to consider alternate perspectives. I can take a fairly hefty dose of it. But it can become unbearably oppressive when it is a near constant companion. It crushes. Tears one apart with sharp teeth and razor claws. In excessive quantities, it is excruciating. Even deadly.
Essentially, silence is exceedingly noisy. It never stops. Never shuts up. Never relents. It weighs on you, pressing your breath from panting lungs. Destroying hope. Revealing a reality that is intolerable. It beats you up until you are frightfully bloody and broken beyond repair. And it takes everything from you, creating a vacuum that is agonizing, dark, terrible, excruciating.
You’ve heard the term “deafening roar?” Silence is like this. It roars. ROARS! And the roar is so horribly loud, it causes even the bravest to cover their ears and run. That deafening roar is overwhelming and oppressive. The sound of it tears the soul into tiny fragments, leaving nothing behind but dust. It generates immeasurable terror and eternal desolation. There is no escaping the overwhelming soundless emptiness.
Whoever said silence is golden likely didn’t have it as a near constant companion. Didn’t live with it day in and day out. Didn’t have to come home to it, dine with it, sleep with it, drive with it, bathe in it.
When profound silence and a suffocating emptiness is all you have to look forward to, all you have to live for, you find, essentially, you don’t have anything for which to live after all.