When I was a child in primary school, I was described by my teachers as a ‘chatterbox’. I don’t think that I ever meant to be rude- I have always tended to rattle on when nervous and insecure (which describes most of my life it seems…). The intensity of silence is something that can only be shared with those that I feel safest with- the ones who have loved and accepted me ‘just as I am’. Silence and solitude are an oasis in which the thoughts that tumble around my head, like clothes in a dryer, can be folded, sorted, and compartmentalized without judgement or justification. I don’t have to reinvent myself to enter the chamber of stillness. I can be with God and in the fellowship of unarticulated language as I read and meditate on my latest book find, or listen to music that transports my soul. The comfortableness of quiet is as soothing as warm milk and ‘The Lark Ascending’. Perhaps one day I will be as comfortable with silence when surrounded by people as I am when I am alone. Monasticism is pretty alluring at times.

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