Jul 4, 2014

Many Kinds of Silence

I started thinking about silence because I have been spending a lot of time in silence.  At first, I wondered what the difference between being alone and silent and being with another and silent (my husband calls this “companionable silence,” which assumes a certain comfort with the silence…and when it is there it is quite wonderful).  At that moment in time, I thought there were just those two kinds of silence.  Of course I decided to google it before I wrote this blog and found that, according to vox populai there are so many kinds of silence I couldn’t list them all here.

First, I ended up on a psychiatrist’s blog which said, with authority, there are eight kinds of silence.  They included  ”I don’t agree, but I am afraid to tell you.”   “I have an idea, but I doubt you will listen.” ” I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I am afraid to offend you by telling you. ”  You get the idea.  This gave me a whole new view of silence.  I spend some tie with a psychiatrist who is, I think really good and has a legendary reputation and we sit in silence a lot.  This is mostly because “I have nothing to say” kind of silence from me, or “If I tell you what I am thinking, we will go there and I don’t want to” as well as “I am wasting your time” kind of silence.

Then I happened on a site where a person who works with writers offers a phrase and people respond to it.  One of them was about silence.  People wrote poetry about the thundering silence of nature.  And the quiet sound of nature.  I put the blog aside.

And I am glad I did because this week Brook and I finished setting up a blog for the Domestic Violence Action Center about the worst kind of silence.  That is the silence that so often surrounds domestic violence.   Ours is a violent culture that breeds more violence.  This blog is about our culture and the need to change our culture.  It is called, not surprisingly, changingculture.com.  I hope you will visit it, and subscribe to the feed.

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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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