Monday, August 6, 2012

Allowing the Space for Silent Companionship

Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary. Our lives came together some years before that, so we have had many years of love and experience with each other. I feel exceedingly blessed by our marriage, by all the joys we share, all the interests we have in common (and those we each enjoy individually), and by watching creativity grow and bloom in our lives. We have had trials and tribulations, too, as most do in life and we have worked our way through them, learning in the process.

I learned something yesterday morning, something that flowed out of a moment with Ed, and came to a realization that I have been dancing around for months, maybe years. I was chattering away to Ed about something not very important (I can’t remember a thing I was saying) and expected from him an answer or a comment. I got neither. He was looking at something, his back turned to me, and he remained silent.

I watched my reaction. From feeling lighthearted and joyous, I moved quickly into irritation. I watched this movement of emotion in myself and, because I’ve been learning to let go of the need to react to inner turmoil, I was able this time to stay with my moment of observing, quietly.

It seemed he wanted to concentrate on what he was doing in that moment. The realization came to me suddenly that silence from me right then would be a small gift to give to him, a way of offering companionship and love, a way of not demanding but, instead, of supporting. I could honor his momentary need for silence, trusting his good intentions (and I have every reason to trust them; the evidence of 31 plus years has shown me that).

Leaving this kind of space can allow for a delicious silent companionship, a sense of space around interactions that is nurturing. It requires me to pay closer attention to whether or not the door is ‘open’ from his side for communication, and, even if I don’t notice immediately that he needs some quiet, I could take silence- rather- than- response as a clue, letting myself be in that silent moment of companionship.

I long for quiet sometimes, quiet to listen inwardly, to reflect, to immerse myself in some aspect of creativity. So do others. If I long for it, then I can also create it, and give it as a gift to one that I love.