I discovered silence when I was a kid. At first it was an act of taking in, holding thoughts behind my teeth. It kept away glances and criticism; it kept me out of trouble. We all find ways of staying safe.
After awhile it became more than an act or a choice; it was a thing, a layer, a force field. It’s like cotton that wraps around my skin; it feels like fullness. I eat words.
When I can be silent both inside and out, it’s purity. When I am silent, I feel like a wine glass ringing. I feel like a marble statue. Above all – always above all – I feel safe.
But I do this. I write. I throw some of it out in public (albeit in a safe way, to be read by strangers and ghosts I will never look in the eye.) Words still come, and some of them escape. My hands move. I have to speak, and this is the only reliable way I can do it.
There are things you can’t kill, no matter how hard you try to wash them out by swallowing and swallowing and shutting up. My hands still move. Words still come.