As a child trying to make sense of the world and its metaphors I used to wonder why silence was said to be golden. I tried to picture what it would look like if it was a physical thing, an ordinary noun instead of an abstract one. Did one need the Midas touch to create it and would it look like bubbles from someone’s mouth as in cartoon drawings? At the time, all these seemed relevant questions to ask and I must have driven my poor parents round the bend with my constant questioning. Silence to them must have seemed pretty golden all right! But what I find interesting now is how I slip in and out of metaphors without a thought and it’s only when my friend who has Asperger’s or my 8-year-old grandson stop me and ask what I mean that I realize I’m doing it.
I believe silence allows us to enter the places in the universe where we discover our inner selves and connect with all there is. Yet there is very little absolute silence because even breathing creates sound so we have to discover ways of entering silence within ourselves, through meditation or other techniques.
As I get older silence has become much more important and taken on a greater role in my life. Where before I used to fill the gaps in conversations with often meaningless chatter, now I am content to just listen. I’m comforable sitting beside a river or walking in the woods alone, where as a teenager I’d be bored, desperate for company and words. Words were everything to me, which is probably why I ended up becoming a writer. I can savour words, store them up, roll them around on my tongue and marvel at their meaning. I love to create space for ideas to breathe, for the written words to take shape and then by some sort of alchemy, they transform into something else. A bit like the Midas touch.