Quiet, Silence, Peace (What is it that I really want?)

It’s astounding how difficult it is to find silence around here. Apparently, Thursday night is party night or something because there was music everywhere tonight, from the organ and tuba pounding out quarter note melodies from the church across the street, El Torre Fuerte, to what seemed to be some sort of late night block party down the street complete with a bunch of kids running around with the song “Apple Bottom Jeans” booming through the neighborhood (it’s nearing 10 o’clock at night, mind you), to the endless drone of Frank Sinatra serenading me in my head.

I left our Thursday night study immediately after its conclusion to escape the noise, only to find that it was everywhere! I must be on the low-end of my “cycle” tonight. No, I’m not PMSing, thank you! But I have found that every few weeks, I have a tendency to simply need some space. Between  dealing with my kids at school, the noise of a community house, almost constantly being immersed in some sort of musical phenomenon for the love of it, and my natural loner tendencies, I need quiet. Sometimes, I just need to run from all the noise surrounding me and think my own thoughts; it’s so easy for me to lose myself in everyone else. To lose myself in their lives, their worries, concerns, stories, passions, interests, whatever. I just pour, pour, pour out of myself constantly, and I don’t get to invest silence or solitude back very often, so I did tonight; I walked to the lake.

As I sat on a bench under a covering, looking over the black waters of Lake Elsinore, she found me and blanketed herself over me leaving me eerily warm; my mistress Sorrow never seems to leave me for long these days. It probably sounds like a worse experience than it is, so to be truthful: She’s comforting and warm, she isn’t afraid to embrace me wholly and protect me from the chill of the wind, she doesn’t leave me feeling empty, but rather she fills me, tonight she makes me whole. But even more importantly, she’s promised never to leave me lonely and has never broken it.

As even Sinatra slowly slipped into silence and Michael Buble quietly faded away, she remained with me. We held each other tightly as we stared out at the lake and I finally found the peace I’d been looking for. It was so quiet that I began to hear the water to call to me, lulling me into something akin to a trance, playing my weary body to its advantage. As I recalled just how long my day had been, I suddenly had a deep desire to slip into the waves and let the lake quietly wash over me. I just wanted to sleep. It seemed so surreal for a moment; so peaceful. Even as my mind replayed the images that Gary Paulsen’s book Hatchet had vividly left on my brain as a child of an airplane pilot’s corpse strapped in the seat of a downed plane in a river (or was it a lake?). It had been described as something like “eerily peaceful” if I remember correctly; the man somewhat suspended and preserved by the water. Yeah, gruesome, I know, but peaceful. Sometimes I wonder just how much I’d be willing to pay for a little bit of peace. Praise God for making me so logical, otherwise I might one day follow an emotional whim and try to pay too much. Is it dangerous that I’m only that far away?

Sometimes, I read what I write and think that there could be something wrong with me, but then I realize that I’m in pretty good company, even if I am slightly insane. How could I actually find out for sure? Maybe I should get a test one of these days… Until then, I must admit, I kinda like it.

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