Another week, another challenge! I have to say, I’m loving this :D. Here’s the link to the challenge, if you are up for it! http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-sound-of-silence/
Back in 2011, I took a ‘Vow of Silence’. Here’s my experience.
I thought it’d be simple to stopped talking, and this comes from me, the “chatty” girl (mind you, I’m shy at first). But, it’s hard to explain how involved I became during the experience, once I started it. It was terrifying, and I was afraid one of my greatest fears would appear; loneliness. However, it did appear. At the moment, I thought I would just escape from it, and form an invisible shield that would protect me.
I took a Vow of Silence that year for 24 hours excluding sleep, and 50 hours if you include it. The reason I chose to do this was because I wanted to do something for those who didn’t always have a voice; the unborn child, abuse victims, people who have passed away, people who can’t speak at all, children, pets, etc.
I thought to myself, why not do this in honour of those who are not able to defend themselves. Those who cannot say a word because they fear, or the unborn child who is never given a chance to tell their mother that they want to love and be loved in return (controversial, right?), and those who simply cannot communicate. Truth to be told, I knew how it felt when you can’t voice your feelings, opinions, and dreams.
And so it began…
The first three hours went quite smoothly, but that was because I was all alone sitting in front of the computer. The challenge became a reality, when my sister came into the kitchen and told me about her day. Out of all days, she had to have a day that would require from me to talk in detail. I kept nodding for the first sentences, but I thought it would be rude to allow her to tell me the whole story before I could tell her that I took a vow of silence (I did let her go on for a little while, though. Sisterhood). But, in all fairness to her, my decision was spontaneously, so I did not have time to give anyone a heads up. I went to my computer desk, grabbed my notebook and wrote everything I needed to say. Suffice to say, the will to comment on what she was saying got me twitching inside. I think I even tried to bite my tongue for a minute, but then, I thought about why I was doing this and I didn’t want to fail. Believe me, if you knew me back then, you knew giving up talking was a HUGE deal. After I talked…I mean wrote an explanation to my sister,
an alien attack against me a series of events initiated.
I slightly burned my arm taking the pizza out of the oven, and then I dropped a slice. I accidentally spilled a drop of oil on the stove, causing it to spark a flame. I closed the manual can opener on my finger while washing it. I hurt my toe on the bathroom door (oh it was traitorous. I’d go on, but I think you get the point.
It just got even harder when I went outside and interacted with the real world. I had to use hand gestures if I accidentally bumped into someone, or when I had to go to the cashier, because the line at the self-checkout was longer than the rest; yes, go figure! It was just me, my pen and my notebook, and writing very short sentences (my hand obviously hurt).
You have no idea how hard it was for me not to say something during the incidents. I began to shut down. I desperately needed to shout at something/someone. Thinking about it did not work or even going online to try to “chat” it all away. The thought of stopping at that moment seemed to relieve my anguish, but I could not stop. Then, I just kept thinking about for whom I was doing this.
I was proud of myself for doing something for so many people; in a way I did not think would be possible. However, after being silent for so long, it got the point where I did not feel like myself anymore. I could not say, “I love you” to my family; I had to write it. I thought that perhaps watching some movies would help ease the moment, but not being able to make any out loud comments did not make me feel so good (because I love to yell at Frodo, everytime he tries to put on the ring|). The silence became a turmoil inside me. I felt like an abandoned wooden puppet at the top of a dust-covered shelf. Nevertheless, I kept offering it up and found the courage to continue.
But this experience was a Blessing. I had a lot of time to reflect on how many people feel hopeless, have the urge to cry out their sorrows, but can’t. This vow gave me just a quick glimpse of what it’s like to try to make yourself be heard, but being succumbed in loneliness or fear. While my comments were read on pieces of paper, I just felt like I was not connected to anyone. I know it was not close to what a lot of people experience during their struggles, but I found comfort knowing that I finished what I set out to do and it made me feel like I was there for them. At the end of my vow of silence, I took a deep breath, and absorbed a moment of peace, serenity and just pure love.
This put me in a very vulnerable spot. I was a cheerful person before the vow, but the experience put me back in the shell I had already come out of. I felt shy again. The process of talking again was very slow, but I eventually did. It felt like returning home from a long journey (prepare for a Lord of the rings analogy). The best way I could think of describing how my vow ended, would be a couple of sentences from the last paragraphs of The Return of the King…
“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-Earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”
“…the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
“…and never again looking back they rode slowly homewards; and they spoke no word to one another until they came back to the Shire, but each had great comfort in his friend on the long grey road.”
“At last they rode over the downs and took the East Road, and then Merry and Pippin rode on to Buckland; and already they were singing again as they went.”
“He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.
And just like that, my Vow of Silence came to an end.
Of course! The world doesn’t rule me today!
© Ellie and My name is Ellie and this is who I am, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellie and My name is Ellie and this is who I am, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. In addition, ‘Shares’ on social media may be used, providing full and clear link/credit is added.