There are two silences, perhaps three. There is the silence that enters the world because there is nothing to be said. Then there is the silence that enters the world because there is no one who will listen. And perhaps there is the silence of death.
I am not sure if death is silent. Death may be a cacophonous torment akin to a moment when a tsunami of memories break through the boundaries which keep us safe from our unconscious mind. Death may be the siren scream of regret and remorse crammed with unquenchable noise. It may be the realm filled with the sounds of irreconcilable rage. I do not know if death is silent because I know that things are often not what they appear.
But there is the silence that arrives because there is nothing to be said. There are moments at which words would obfuscate clarity; such as the moment when love is realized as one looks into the eyes of another, or the moment when the sun slips beneath the horizon suggesting we are sailing upon a ship through the universe or a thousand other moments when words would just be in the way. This first silence, whether accompanied by love or hatred, whether it declares union or division, life or death is a triumphant silence. It is a silence that rests and solves because it culminates. It completes.
But the silence that is tragic and insidious is the silence, which enters the world through the exasperated loneliness of not being heard. It is the silence that arrives as the implosion of hope. It is the dark quiet, which enters existence after attempts to be heard have been abandoned. It is the void that should not exist yet remains, invisible yet palpable, unnoticed yet annoyingly present. Sometimes this silence erupts in the explosion of gunfire. More often it seeps into its ignominious existence through addictions that fill the space with noise that only confuses any hope of conscious conversation. The worst thing about this type of silence is that it drifts without notice thereby forfeiting any effort to find ears which would recognize its sound and pull from it sentience. The best thing about this silence is that it is always pregnant.
This type of Silence is pregnant because it is an imprisoned voice. It is that which wants to be said and heard, it is the extension of one’s identity always yearning to live in the light of recognize reality. It therefore seeks exit from the darkness. It wishes to be born. It is creative, living and inextinguishable.
Brian K. Woodson, Sr.
Pastor and founder – Bay Area Christian Connection