I learnt early on that silence is a powerful weapon. In my noisy family with three brothers, silence got attention. When an injustice was perceived, my response was to close down all communication and withdraw. As a teenager, I perfected the art. On one occasion I remember not speaking to my father for three weeks. Sulking was an Olympic sport as far as I was concerned, and I went for gold every time.
Years later, I learned that bottling up resentment and storing it doesn’t improve it like a fine wine. It tends to turn to vinegar, which doesn’t leave a great taste. I learned to use my voice and speak up. All that self-righteous silence was such a waste of energy.
This morning I came across this poem by 13th century mystic, Rumi which seemed to hit the nail on the head.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field./I’ll meet you there./When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about ideas, /language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make sense.” Jalal ad-din Rumi, The Field