At first, I think, “I want quiet.”
This may be because I heard a chirping beside my bed at 6:45 am. Then two beady little eyes popped above the bassinet rim. A chorus ensued from the other side as a tousled cloud of blond appeared wondering, “Is it morning time yet?”
I wanted quiet.
But my alarm joined in the fray, and there was no silencing the progress of the day.
Sometimes I mistakenly equate a mute button with a pause button. I think if I could just still the voices, noises, demands, questions, and whines of the world around me, I’d be able to carve out some auditory space for a book. A cup of coffee. A guilt-free Snickers bar stolen from someone’s Halloween stash.
At first, I think, “I want quiet.” But almost as quickly I think of the voices that have gone quiet around me. My Ukranian grandmother who reigned as an imperious queen over her kitchen, always stuffing her counters and grandchildren with discounted Entermann pastries or, when we were lucky, batches of homemade Petaheh. My North Carolinian grandmother who once a visit made it a point to seek me me in the quiet dark of bedtime to rub into my back and ears and soul her love for and pride in me. I’m grateful that if their voices have had to go, they’ve gone quiet but not silent.
Silent belongs to imagination. To the “never was” versions of our lives.
Memories are never silent. Never silent movie versions of what was. Memories include one grandmother’s “and uh, so uh, but uh” filler phrase that she’d drop into pauses of conversations. Memories include one grandmother’s ancient farmhouse plumbing that threatened to break free from floorboards and buck around the house with each flush and bath. Memories have noise, vibration, voice, and life’s symphony. Memories are just quieter versions of the real thing.
So if my morning memories of today fade from loud demands that drag a grumpy me out of bed into small chirps and echoes of morning time questions, I’ll take their company any day over the silent alternative to quiet.
This post is shared with and inspired by Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday.