Noise is one of my best friends.
When a CD is spinning or the radio is rocking air waves around me, I feel safe. When the washer is whooshing and the drier is drumming -- kerchunk, kerchunk, kerchunk -- I find solace. When chatter flows freely, dodging those awkward pauses, I feel success in the sharing of words.
It is silence that scares me.
Even when I'm outdoors, hiking, biking or kayaking, I revel in the crunch of leaves, the rush of wind and the thwap of paddle in water.
Anything to distract me from myself. Anything to quell the thoughts and fears and questions that arise in silence.
Because those questions don't have answers. And those fears are real, yet unexplainable. And those thoughts rarely stay in my mind; they travel down and peck at my heart, begging for change -- or worse, begging for acceptance.
Lately, however, silence has come to me. And I've decided to give it a chance. I am trying to leave the radio off every now and then. I am learning to let the awkward conversational pauses hang. I am slowly facing those unanswered questions, those unexplained fears and those unrelenting thoughts.
Mainly I have learned that silence is patient. It appreciates the ability to ask, even without knowing. It allows friendship based on pure enjoyment of another's presence. It deals with a thought when it comes but knows when to let it go.
I think I'm okay with that. I think I'm okay with silence.