Relationships grow, crumble, fade, part, and regenerate. It’s when they’re quiet that you know you’ve done something right. It’s the kind of quiet where neither one of you needs to talk. You don’t need to ogle each other like teenagers or stare lovingly into each other’s eyes like you desperately can’t live without the other person.
You just move quietly together allowing the other to be, to exist without you, with you, it really doesn’t matter.
My husband and I have had these moments and I’ve thought, well, we’ve finally arrived. We’ve made it. We really just don’t need to talk.
We can just float together.
But, he doesn’t see it that way. He wants to talk, as if there’s something wrong with me for not joining in the sea of incessant chatter that bulks up the world around us. I know it’s not all just him. I know that between his coworkers burping on about how people should “talk” and the mounds of general media telling us we need to talk more, he’s bound to agree with them.
Couples must communicate, yes. I do this and that’s when he decides that he’s too busy to talk, which is completely different from what I’m talking about here.
On vacation, he pointed out an older couple who read the newspaper, looked up to check a noise or just enjoy their whereabouts, and ate quietly together, barely talking. He scoffed sarcastically, “You think that’ll be us someday?”
I thought, I hope so.
He said, “They haven’t said a word to each other,” and he said this bitterly. I then realized he needed to talk right now so that he knows that I love him so I tried. I still try. I try to do a lot of listening more than anything. It’s rough because I prefer silence. He doesn’t understand it but he does know how I feel. At least I think he does.
So much of my life consists of talking that I cherish the quiet space between it all. I literally gulp, choking up when I hear the blowing wind against the palms of trees.
Tears build, fall, and drop when I see clouds swirl and that beat that blends with the flap of a bird’s wings. Silence seems to slip through my fingers like water running through the tap. So when I’m wrapped in it, when it surrounds me, I warm myself with it.
It’s not the same as people who stare at the glare of their smart phones and just ignore each other.
Two people appreciating silence seals their bond as if sitting together in a temple or a church. Only, there’s nothing to worship or think about because you’re already there…in heaven.
There’s that breathing, the heavy kind. The kind that you hear right before you fade into each other.
Written by Lisa Chesser