If you read my previous post (and you’re still here, you poor fool!), you will notice that I… am verbose, even while typing. My sentences are long, my paragraphs longer, and I don’t stop writing until I say my piece. If you ever meet me in real life, you’re in for a treat: I’m like this in person too! Language is my crack and I’m an addict if I ever met one. So then comes the funny question: why the name of this blog?
Irony, folks, it’s a kicker. I read an amazing book not too long ago called Dune by the illustrious Frank Herbert. In it, he writes about his protagonist, the incomparable Paul Atriedes, who later becomes (or always was?) the foretold Muad’Dib, visionary, tyrant leader, and ultimately religious figure (that is an altogether simplistic overview of this amazing story: go pick it up to see why). In the book, there are quotes about Muad’Dib’s life written by his wife the Princess Irulan and one of them struck me. It went like this:
“At the age of fifteen, he had already learned silence.”
There was a connection between silence and wisdom, silence and the understanding to keep ones tongue and think instead of speak, silence being a medium for intellect before rash action and forethought rather than afterthought.
This is not my nature. I am probably one of the most chaotic, helter-skelter individuals I’ve ever seen. And I talk a lot. That is the most no bullshit assessment of myself that I can give. So it seemed impossible to me that I can achieve a state of such forethought if there was this never-ending torrent of ideas in my brain trying to get out of my mouth. In short, I was not made for silence because language to me was a symphony of sound and silence was the absence of music. Then some years went by and I taught myself that sometimes, the silence before the symphony can be just as sweet as the music, the refining of the tune can make it even a more enriching experience.
In other words, I learned to shut my mouth and think before I spoke more often than not.
That changed who I am a lot in the last couple of years. It has taught me forethought, it has taught me caution, it has taught me the nature of human fascination lies in deriving truth from silence and uncovering mystery in our fellow human beings. I think this means I’m growing up, Peter Pan, but maybe I’m just a richer human being. Who knows if that means I’m a richer person, who knows? All I know is, the symphony is stronger when I open my mouth and the pay-off oh that much sweeter.
So this blog is called Wisdom in Silence because there is, I’ve learned, and while I still open my mouth to massive torrents of words sometimes, I’ve also learned to close the floodgate and just listen. And that has allowed a richer human being to be blogging here today.
So put that on a fortune cookie if you can.