Silence

For some, silence is that uncomfortable feeling creeping up on you in the dark; uncontrollable, except to be broken. Others may find it peaceful. There are of course, different kinds.

Loud
Mine, right now, is filled with a low whirr of the laptop trying to breathe, a high pitched frequency from some utility – accompanied by it’s own white-noise-type fan, clicking and shifting of metal: the oven preheating, a shhhhhh of water and then fmp fmp of (I think) the heater warming it, all rounded out by a faint but shrill tinnitus in my ears and sound of typing.
Neighbor’s music through walls, people shouting at fireworks outside, footsteps or moving furniture overhead; loud, as you sit in silence.

Soft
When quiet enough to hear candles crackle slightly as they flicker, or gentle rains approach, the small sighs of pets surface and whispers feel like they float; it’s those nice things that tend to produce a spirit of rest. Even then, another kind of silence can linger.

Either or Both
Sitting in a room full of lovely, laughing, happy people, there can exist a deep silence. If you seek someone in that place, first find their eyes, more still than expected, like undisturbed water. Alas, pain can be perceived as comfort if “better” comes like waves.
A blank wall is not loud, yet a mind afforded generous silence in multiple senses, can fill with chaos of brash, banging, rushing thoughts. One does not even need to finish before another cuts it off, yanking back and forth, here and there, with no mercy.

If you have read this far, I thank you. My mind has been both so dill, silent and avoiding any opportunity for rabbit trail after rabbit trail of spiraling, confusing, endless chaos of thought. I’ve found it difficult to care about anything except sometimes to distract myself, scrolling social media posts, videos, Pinterest pins, nothing of any real creative value since I’m almost completely zoned out then.
At the beginning of next month, it will be two years since I started this blog. I had such excitement and passion then, that it makes me sad to look back and see the slow fade. So much has happened and changed since, not just in my life but in our world even still. It makes me wonder if it’s worth it to hold on to those things that used to ring so loudly in my heart.

This is what happens when I get silence. I start thinking “what is realistic? what is worth it? what do I need to prioritize?”. The questions don’t end and I never feel like I’ve done enough. Finding the small things in life, the quiet beauty, being still and able to enjoy silence, I’m trying to get back to that.
For me, posting on all creative platforms has slowed to once in a blue moon, not just here. In the endless scrolling of them, my mind shouts “you should post! why haven’t you posted? what is wrong with you? post!” and I have no answer. Eventually one comforting thought timidly stands up in my grey matter. “I am not only valid when witnessed.”

I am not only valid when witnessed.

Stephanie – Rabbit & Crown

Most days, silence is the monster under my bed, saying that not much matters, especially me. I’m hoping to get back to days where silence is sunshine on my skin and the quiet beauty of life around me.

I’ll be around, Friends and Strangers. Thank you for being here.

Today’s Someday

I wrote the excerpt below, about nine years ago. I did not own a piano. I did not have my own place to live.

Someday, in my made up future, I will wake up to the birds singing and the sunlight streaming through my window. Smiling, I will slip out from between my covers and stretch, fingers towards the ceiling, before walking into the kitchen. I will make myself a delicious, healthy, breakfast and eat it outside in the morning air. After putting the dishes away, getting dressed, and pulling my hair back, I will go and sit down at my deep, black, grand piano and let all of my thoughts and feelings flow out of my fingertips until they echo in the air.
Maybe I will laugh, a smile on my face. Maybe I will cry, tears escaping with each note.
And after I’m done, and there is nothing left to be said, I will close that gorgeous piano back up. I will close the doors to the room where the emotions still hover thick in the air, and I will step into the breathtaking sunshine. Eyes closed, I will listen, waiting for your response.

Reading this poem now, I can see that my dream for my future has pretty much become true. There are no doors to close my piano into it’s own room because I live in a (wonderful) studio apartment. There was no chance that I could purchase my bucket-list instrument, but my grandmother willed me hers.

This was a reminder I needed.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into some of my very old writing.

Inside of the piano

Look how far we’ve failed

There have been a few things lately that I could count as failures and I will share them, because I said that I would not only share my successes but also what I learn from my not so successful ventures. It’s nothing too weighty but it forces me to think of how far I’ve come as well.

Thing number one: Using a wax seal to make a gorgeously finished letter (and then mailing it). Turns out, I used the wrong wax and the entire thing pulled away from the paper. Also, stamps are far more expensive than I last remembered and the letter in question still needs to make it to the mailbox!
I have learned that you need to use actual sealing wax to press a good pattern into and have it stick.

It actually looked much worse than this.

Thing number two: Making a cozy, creamy, comfort food, crock-pot chicken dish entirely without following a recipe. It would have been alright if I didn’t second guess how cooked the chicken was at the end of the first 4 hours. It looks awful now, after I cooked it several more hours, and I can’t bring myself to eat it.
Lesson learned: There can be some pink in cooked chicken as long as it’s the right texture.

Both of these things happening in the same week did get me a little down. I am a perfectionist after all. Yes, I know that I’m hard on myself and have difficulty accepting any real compliment. Doling them out to others is much easier. Last night, I was watching an old episode of The Great British Baking Show, with my parents. Before leaving, I thanked them for all the support and encouragement they give me and said “You’re awesome.” My dad shot back “You’re awesome!” and I accepted it super gracefully with a “meh”. He was quick to back up his statement, telling me to look at how far I’ve come. Maybe I’m not where I want to be, but I’m much closer than I was.

Thankfully, he is right and I think it’s true for a lot more people than just me. Let me pass on his encouragement to you. You’re awesome. Look how far you’ve come.