I DID IT! Not a single word was spoken – finally!!! WOOT WOOT! (I still have no idea what “woot” means or who the first dork was that said it. All I know is that it’s what the “cool kids” say. To me, it just sounds like a drunk owl driving a train.)
I’m actually quite proud of myself. This was even more of an accomplishment because relatives came to visit. And these relatives took it upon themselves to try and do whatever it took to get me to speak. Who needs enemies when you’ve got relatives, I’ve always said. Alas, they were unsuccessful in their efforts to derail my silence. (If I knew how to spell the sound you make when you stick out your tongue at someone, I would write that now. Is it thghhhhhhmmmmnnn?)
One of the older relatives just couldn’t wrap their head around the fact that I actually wanted to be silent for one day a week. Then, when I told him that this is all just practice for my upcoming two month pilgrimage of silence on The Camino… I honestly thought he was going to have a stroke. It’s kind of fun watching old people in pre-stroke behaviour. When they’re not actually having a stroke of course.
I chose Sunday instead of Monday not to talk this week because I kinda sorta needed to talk for work on Monday. Sundays tend to be a “shut ‘er down” day fer me. (Sleep in. Read. Watch Documentaries. Hike. Play my guitar. Crank the stereo. Eat what I want. Maybe I go to the gym, maybe I don’t.) Maybe that’s why I finally achieved success – because I did absolutely bupkis.
I had a fascinating conversation with a friend over my mobile phone though. They sent a text suggesting we catch up today. I told them I couldn’t talk because it was silent day. Then I decided to call them anyway, put them on speakerphone and text my side of the conversation. It was a lesson in patience for them and a lesson in speed texting for me. However, I text like a man who forgot to pay his bookie one too many times and was paid a visit by Vito “Thumbs” Corleone. The conversation was actually quite hilarious. 128 texts during a 40 minute call and much of it hijacked by autocorrect. Which is why it took so long. Unlike my daughter who sends the most unintelligible texts you’ve ever seen (even the Kremlin couldn’t break her code of gibberish) I check my texts over before I hit send.
Around the dinner table I noticed far more intentional eye contact with me during the conversations. Normally I feel comfortably invisible when I’m with family.
It was quite the opposite experience with the ladies at the grocery store. After they read the note on my phone explaining that I couldn’t speak, there was absolutely zero eye contact made. Like, awkwardly zero! It felt like I was back at my Grade 7 Spring Dance! They even missed my Namaste/thank you before I walked out. That’s gotta be bad karma right? Missing someone’s namaste? Grocery girls – they don’t make ‘em like they used to!
Spiritual Benefit During My 5th Day Of Silence =1
At this point in my attempt to master the sacred art of silence, I kind of feel like my dawg Tucker. After he finally learned the discipline to balance a treat on his nose and be completely still, he would look at me as if to say, “Nice trick daddy. Now what?” I think I’ve finally been able to do the trick of going a day without speaking, but now what? Next week I’m definitely going to have to be more intentional about using my day of silence to look inwards & upwards. Now that I don’t have to focus so much on battling my mouth, it’s time to pay attention to the battle in my soul.