Tag Archives: silence

November 2022

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another, and evenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. (Anaïs Nin, 1903 – 1977)

So many months–18!–since last I posted here. Y’all know all the climatological, viral, and political shenanigans that we are all operating under, with, beside. Those are nothing new under the sun, in the big picture, though yes yes yes the speed of climate change is human-sparked. Not so speedy as a meteor crashing into the planet but still. We are influential.

Re: influence: I asked my elder young-adult son for his perspective on his role, as a white male with all its attendant privileges, what he sees as his role as vis-a-vis BIPOC, and he thought and then said he tries to not take up space. H’mmm, I thought, maybe that’s what I’ve been doing by not-blogging: I’m not-taking-up-space.

Being silent is a form of influence, too. The silent treatment was regularly deployed in my family of origin and to this day silence triggers my body’s fight-flight-freeze response. (Which I will refer to from now on as the FFF response. Which sounds, IMO, the way I feel when panic is short-circuiting my nervous system. I often also say f*ckf*ckf*ck so this works on two levels.)

I can notice this reaction before choosing my response more frequently than I used to. I often opt to ask a question, or just take a breath and wait.

But when I received a “friend” request from someone I knew years ago, someone who is one of my #metoo experiences, I FFFed and freaked and blocked and chose silence rather than engagement.

And then felt cowardly, wimpy, weak: I don’t even have the ability to say no, retroactively! On the other hand, maybe that was a case of manifesting my body’s wisdom: life’s too short to engage with someone who no longer has no influence over me or others.

I argued both sides of that proverbial coin in a long conversation with an old friend, a conversation wherein I was the opposite of silent, and her influence helped me untangle myself. Steady myself. Re-orient myself.

Nothing new under the sun, indeed. We hurt each other. We learn from each other. We need each other.

May it be so.