This will come as no surprise to most of you:
I like to talk.
(whenever you want to stop laughing at the obvious will be fine....I'll wait...)
This week I've been struck by some kind of throat plague--my throat hurts like crazy and my voice has basically disappeared. Everyone keeps telling me to rest my voice and drink tea etc etc etc.
Well, I'm all over the tea, the honey and lemon, the soup, the excessive amounts of water, etc.
I am NOT all over vocal rest. I've been at home for two days now without talking and it is super weird. It turns out that when I'm at home I talk to my cats, and every time I want to talk to them I catch myself and try not to. It also turns out that I hum out loud more than I realized (sorry everyone around me). I also talk to inanimate objects, podcasts, and food I'm cooking.
Being silent is super weird. And difficult. I'm tempted to give this post the label "tragedy"except I think that might be just a little bit *too* melodramatic, even for me.
(I'm sure this is where those of you who go on 30 day silent retreats have many things to say about the value of keeping your voice silent. go ahead.)
Not that I think there's no value in silence--on the contrary, I love silence. In the sense that I can't really stand background noise--I'm not the person with music playing all the time or with the TV on even when I'm not watching it. I don't listen to music and read at the same time. I don't watch TV while blogging or reading the news. I do often listen to podcasts while doing the dishes or cooking, but only if I don't have to read a recipe.
I have plenty of background noise in my head, and it turns out I may actually BE the background noise most of the time.
It's not that I necessarily have anything to say, only that I like to have the ability to say it when it comes to mind. And that's where I'm tripped up this week. For two days now I've kept my mouth shut, and have thought lots of things without saying them. For a verbal processor, this is very odd.
I can't say that I've necessarily noticed that my thoughts are deeper than they are when I say them out loud. Or that I've been more productive (okay, let's be honest--the only thing I've been more productive about is making tea). But I have noticed how often I tend to vocalize things, even when no one is around to listen. I've noticed when my tendency is to shout at the commenters on internet news stories, or to sweet talk the kitties, or to say out loud every thought I have about soup, or to hum the latest song running through my head (which runs from classical to broadway to hymns to whatever is on Just Dance 4...).
the first step is always just to notice, right? Presumably the next step is a still small voice, a whisper of the Spirit, that makes itself heard in my silence.
(note to said Spirit: it would be awesome if you would whisper a sermon, and also bring back my voice in time to preach it...)