in search of stillness

1 September, 2013 § Leave a comment

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I was feeling apprehensive about the company getaway at a foreign island that required me to spend 3 days with more than 100 humans. Not so much because I could not handle them, but because they might feel uncomfortable by my ability to tune the world (and them) out. In other words, I was concerned that they might not be able to handle silence.

I too find silence a challenge. The world in my head is never silent; awash with colour and rhythm and sounds, and if I am less fortunate, noise. It is a bit of a double-edged situation – I am at once porous and permeable to everything around me (for that is the aspect of me that perceives everything indiscriminately); at once needing to exert a countervailing force to keep noise on the outside. The stronger the perceptive force, the stronger the resistance required.

Being around people is tiring. I cannot stop taking in information. Too much stimulus. I end up feeling desperate for stillness.

There was a time I thought that if I could find silence I would find stillness, but it all actually works the other way. When a moment of stillness finds me, the world and all its noise falls away (of its own accord requiring no effort whatsoever). There is in that space only me and that which has captured my gaze completely.

Stillness happens sometimes when we are face-to-face with beauty. Beauty that is at once humanly indescribable and devastatingly temporal; and this confluence silences the noise inside in an instance, slows all bodily and cognitive processes to its minimum; places you inside this infinite space of connectedness. Takes your breath away.

Ever so fortunate that I have nature for company no matter where I am, I have two special souvenirs from the trip – a glorious sunset and my very first upside down rainbow.

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