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Writing

On Silence.

“I want to write a novel about Silence,” he said; “the things people don’t say.”

Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out

Silence can often be more powerful than words, although this is not an excuse to not use your voice; it is not an excuse to be afraid. What it is, is an opportunity to listen. Oftentimes it is easier to yell your opinion over the din, operating with the arrogance and audacity that people should listen to you and not the other way around. That is the reason for conflict, the reason for hatred (that and fear, of course, but that is a subject for another time). The failure to listen is also the failure of understanding and understanding is known to breed peace, love, innovation, knowledge.

The lack of noise is related to tranquility and peace for a reason. To be subject to words infringing on the very essence of your own being will drive you mad; to have incessant declarations made to you and expectations forced on to your conduct will provoke you–if not to violence–to shut yourself up in a room of your own devoid of such savage impositions. However, those that do so are often scorned and called recluses, hermits, depressed, expressed with a passively aggressive upturned nose and snarky remark. But what if those people–the ones scorned–are the most happy? Society is quick to judge and slow to forgive, but possess no power if you simply do not care. But that is easier said than done.

Keeping quiet is cowardice, courage, and weight all at once. Not saying anything when witnessing a cruelty will secure you the hottest place in hell, but listening to someone you do not agree with is a pure form of courage. As to silence and weight, the weight of silence can be the loudest thing in a room, demonstrating the impact of words and the spaces that separate them.

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