In Lieu of Silence

There are moments when I crave silence.

 This is in no small part due to my job as a teacher.  Educating students is a loud, boisterous endeavor, and the constant, never-ending hum and thrum of student chatter and commotion can easily leave my nerves rattled and frayed.  It’s tough work, and so when the moment comes for a little peace and quiet, I gravitate to it, like a moth seeking the light, like a bee to honey.

 There are times when I crave quiet.

 This is also partly due to my own children.  I love them to pieces, don’t get me wrong, but after listening to kids jibber-jabber all day long, it’s not the first thing I want to come home:  more kids jibbering and jabbering.  I get a little crazy, but fortunately, my children are very attune to my sensitivity with noise, and tone it down accordingly when it’s clear I’m at my most volatile.

 There are those days, nights, and mornings when I crave stillness.

 The movement of sounds sometimes is just as jarring to me as people:  the scrap of chairs against the floor, the bustle and turn of papers being shuffled, the clink of silver against fine china, the clomp of footsteps up and down the stairs, the tap, tap, tap of fingers on a keyboard, the vroom and rush of cars passing by my window, the rush of water pouring out of the faucet while my husband does the dishes.  The list could go on and on, but ultimately, it all serves a singular purpose:  to get on my nerves.

You want to something funny with this post?  When I started it a while back, I really had no objective.  That’s not usually a big deal; sometimes, I latch onto an idea and start writing on it and figure the objective and the purpose will eventually come to me.  And so for this post, I had completed everything in italics before I finally stopped, intending to revisit it the next day, look at it with fresh eyes, and then continue on.  Except the next day turned out to be the day after that, and the day after that, and so on until it was kind of forgotten.

Lame, I know.  Until something not so funny happened yesterday and brought me back to this post here.

The elementary school shooting.

Because as much as I crave the silence, the quiet, the stillness, there was no sweeter sound to me this morning than everything but that:  my daughters laughing, my son watching TV, the commotion of them making breakfast, the step of their feet up and down the stairs, my husband in the bathroom shaving.

As much as I love to write, I don’t know that I have the sufficient skill or talent necessary to write about the horror that was witnessed yesterday.  The insanity.  The blackness.  And as a wife and a mother, no matter how horrible I imagine this unthinkable tragedy to be for the families of the victims, I know that what I imagine still does not even come close to their pain and suffering.

And at a time when for the families of the victims when silence means their homes are empty of soft chatter and giggles, bereft of energy, deprived of the hustle and bustle of children at both play and war, I pause to revel in the tiny chaos of my own home, and I am glad for it.

EMJ

My heartfelt prayers and sympathies go out to families of the victims.

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